The Royal Mail in the United Kingdom is not just a postal service, it is also a bank. It has partnered with several UK banks to be able to offer this service. Different financial services are available on behalf of different institutions.
Royal Mail Savings Products
The Royal Mail Saving Products, which used to be the Post Office Savings Bank, sells Premium Bonds. A premium bond is a Lottery Bond that is issued by the UK National Savings and Investments agency. The bonds are regularly entered in a prize drawing and the government must deliver on a promise to buy them back. These savings products were introduced by Harold Macmillan (Earl of Stockton and Prime Minister) in 1956.
As of October 2013, the government pays 1.3% interest on this type of bond. However individuals do not collect the interest. Instead it is pooled and a monthly lottery distributes tax-free premiums or prizes. The numbers are chosen by ERNIE, which stands for Electronic Random Number Indicator Experiment.
Investors can buy this royal Mail Savings Bond product at any time and the prizes range from being 25 pounds to 1 million pounds. The bond is held for a full calendar month after their purchase and then the numbers are entered each month into EARNIE. Investors are eligible to win a big prize until the bond is cashed in.
Typical Royal Mail Bank Banking Services
Examples of personal banking services that are available are cash withdrawals, paying bills and rent in cash, and cheques, enquiring as to your bank balance, and cashing cheques.
When you go to a Royal Mail office in the United Kingdom you will find a Royal Mail bank machine. These cash machines are mostly provide by the Bank of Ireland.
The most basic account that is offered is called The Post Office Card Account. This is a basic bank account that allows customers to collect child tax credits, unemployment payments and other payments from the government. The Card Account helps you manage your money from the government and not spend it too fast as they can only be used at a Post Office Counter, or an ATM at a local Post Office. Just about any payment from the HMRC is processed via HMRC. You can use this type of account to directly pay your Building Society, Child Care Provider, or approved training course.
If you open a Royal Mail Bank Account you must use it. If it is not used within a year it is closed. J.P Morgan Europe on behalf of the Post Office administers these bank accounts. The Royal Mail business services are also offered through Santander. Santander is a United Kingdom bank that is owned by the Spanish Sartander group and it is the third largest bank in the United Kingdom.
For more information about all of the range of free services that are offered go to http://www.royalmail.com/