Limiting cash deposits at post offices is a further blow to the service, a Gwynedd politician has warned.
Following the recommendations of the Financial Conduct Authority, there are restrictions on the amount of money that businesses can deposit into their bank accounts through the Post Office.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor has called on the Welsh Government to make urgent representations to the FCA in light of newly introduced limits on post office cash deposits.
Raising the matter in the Senedd, Mr ap Gwynfor voiced serious concerns about new limits on the amount of cash businesses can deposit at their local post office branch, warning that small, rural businesses were being disproportionately impacted by the change.
To compound the pressure on post offices, the DVLA contract is also believed to be under threat of non-renewal.
This would result in all DVLA transactions being withdrawn by 2024. Currently, the Post Office carries out over 6 million DVLA transactions annually.
Mr ap Gwynfor said: “We know that banks have been closing at a shocking rate over recent years, but I’ve been in discussions with all the major banks, and, on each occasion they say that customers can go to the post office, the closest one to them.
“But now, following the recommendations of the Financial Conduct Authority, there are restrictions on the amount of money that businesses can deposit into their bank accounts through the Post Office.
“This has a particular effect on small, rural businesses such as those in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, as it means that they must limit the amount of cash that they can take, or else need to travel long distances with lots of cash in their vehicles.
“It will also affect the viability of rural post offices.
“This, in turn, is naturally about to affect our rural economy.
“Have you had discussions with the FCA to bring this matter to their attention, and what support can you provide to ensure that post offices, which offer a lifeline to many communities, remain viable?”
He added: “Post offices play a vital role in our communities, particularly in more rural, hard-to-reach areas.
“Sadly, many rural branches have now closed, and we are witnessing the rapid decline of over-the-counter services at remaining branches.
“Successive governments have asset-stripped the post office network of products and services over many years, denying the most vulnerable in our communities access to essential services.
“I call on the Welsh and UK governments to urgently intervene to ensure our post offices aren’t again stripped to the bone, which may result in postmasters around Wales no longer being able to provide the services that our communities need.”