The three employers of the banking sector (AEB, Ceca and Unacc) have signed an agreement with Correos on Wednesday by which interested entities will be able to use the network of offices of the public company, as well as its postmen, to be able to offer basic services banking in rural areas. With this agreement, the sector seeks to have a presence in the less populated regions of the country without the need to have its own branches or ATMs, taking advantage of the presence of Correos in the territory.
More than 230 municipalities lost their last bank branch during the pandemic
What has been signed this Wednesday is a “general collaboration protocol” through which the banks that want to can sign agreements with the public company. These will be agreements similar to those that Correos already had to date with groups such as Santander or Mapfre, allowing the use of their offices so that certain procedures can be carried out with these private entities. “Correos makes its Correos Cash service available to the banking sector to make cash withdrawals and deposits at 4,675 service points and through 6,000 rural postmen at customers’ homes,” says the joint statement issued by the public group and the three employers.
The signatories, the note points out, “aspire to all citizens, regardless of their place of residence, having access to cash with the least possible displacement.” A recent report commissioned by these three employers from the IVE indicated that in Spain there are 1.6 million citizens who do not have a bank branch in their municipality. This document made at the request of the banks lowered that figure to 650,000 including other services such as the ofibuses or the Post Offices that some groups were already using.
The three employers will take that report and the agreement signed this Wednesday with the Post Office this Friday to the meeting they have arranged with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This meeting between the employers’ association and Nadia Calviño’s team was initially designed for the banks to present their plans to improve attention to areas at risk of financial exclusion, although the leading role has been gained in recent days by the announcement of a tax for the sector that the president, Pedro Sánchez, advanced during the State of the Nation debate last week.
A campaign at the beginning of the year highlighted the discontent, especially among the elderly, due to the problems of attention that the financial sector offers them after the closure of thousands of branches in recent years. The Government intervened and ordered employers to draw up a series of commitments to improve this care that should be reflected in the following months with an action plan. “This General Protocol for Action in rural areas reflects the will of the banking associations to contribute to accelerating progress towards an inclusive economy and not leaving any group unattended,” the employers said in the statement.
In addition to the offices of the public company, Correos makes its 6,000 rural postmen available to banks, who have electronic devices (PDA’s), to “access at the door of the house” money in cash and carry out other procedures that are provided in the Post offices also in all the municipalities of rural Spain “as small as they may be”, taking advantage of the visit of the postman, who also offers personal attention without the need for the entity’s client to have the means or technological knowledge. In other words, with these agreements, new services added to those they already provide will be incorporated into these postmen.