High street banks are being urged to offer more of their services through the Post Office network.

A report compiled by Post Office watchdog Consumer Focus has called for more integration between banking services and the Post Office.

It recommends that all banks offer more current account transactions at post offices, for banks to raise awareness of account access through the network, and for the Post Office to improve the service it provides in branches. It also urged HSBC and Santander to follow the lead of other banks and allow their customers access to accounts through the network.

The report stated that closures of bank branches, consumers valuing face-to-face interaction and the need to access cash easily were all key reasons for a greater integration of banking services through post offices.

The recommendations were welcomed by the National Federation of Subpostmasters. General secretary George Thomson said: "If all banks offered all current account transactions at post offices, this would help protect post offices for the future and safeguard the vital services they provide."

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