Post Bank report published by the Labour Party
As you may be aware, last year the union commissioned a report for the Labour frontbench on setting up a Post Bank, how this could be delivered and how it would fit in with other policies, under a Labour government.
As you may have seen in the media over the weekend this has now been published by the Labour Party. The full document is available at the following link and a summary of its proposals – which cover Post Bank, RBS and setting up a National Investment Bank – is attached to this LTB: http://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Building-a-new-public-banking-ecosystem.pdf
The report builds on the previous work the union commissioned on a Post Bank from CASS and endorses the key arguments we have made over a number of years for a Post Bank to tackle financial exclusion, support small businesses and secure the future of the Post Office and our members’ jobs.
While this is an independent report and reflects the authors’ own views, we have worked closely with both them and with John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn’s offices in shaping it, and it is a major piece of work to develop the manifesto commitment we secured from Labour in 2017 (after our motion to Labour Conference in 2016), that it would ‘set up a commission to establish a Post Bank, owned by the Post Office and providing a full range of banking services in every community.’
With the Labour Party publishing the document itself, we also believe it will raise the profile of the policy for a Post Bank and embed it in the thinking of politicians and the public, as a key element of what a radical Labour government could do. Alongside Labour’s commitment to re-nationalise Royal Mail and bring it back together with the Post Office in public ownership, a Post Bank is at the heart of a positive vision for the future of the postal industry under Labour.
At the reps briefing on the Post Office campaign in November last year we recognised that it would be extremely difficult to stop the closure and franchising of branches that had already been announced and committed to working to shift the debate onto this positive vision for the future. The publication of the report is a key part of that and we will be undertaking various activities in the coming months to promote it, including holding an event in Westminster.
We will be asking members who are active in the Labour Party to take a motion welcoming the report to their local Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and the fact the Labour Party is publishing it underlines how far it has come under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and is a further example of how our political work can help deliver for our members. Labour will now be considering the proposals in the report and we will be engaging with the frontbench further on this.
Finally, we are sure that branches will recognise this is an impressive piece of work and that it demonstrates again what connecting our political and industrial agendas can achieve in mainstream politics. We believe this is exactly the type of approach that can be developed across both constituencies and the communications sector.
We will keep branches updated on further developments and any queries on the contents of this LTB should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.