With Post Office card accounts set to close and Post Office savings accounts set to no longer accept payments from unlinked accounts, thousands of customers are being urged to act now to avoid losing out.
Most urgently, HMRC will stop making benefits payments - namely tax credits, Child Benefit and Guardian Allowance - into Post Office card accounts from 1 December. Claimants risk having their payments paused if they don't contact HMRC before 30 November to provide alternative bank, building society or credit union account details. This comes as the Department for Work and Pensions announced a 12-month extension on closing the accounts completely, with this now set to happen in November 2022. However, the end to benefits payments being made into these accounts will still come into effect this year.
Meanwhile, the Post Office has also made changes to payments into its savings accounts, with payments from unlinked accounts no longer permitted from 1 March 2022. It is estimated that around 150,000 customers still need to add a linked account to their Post Office savings account ahead of the deadline. After that point, only payments from linked accounts, cash or cheques will be accepted.
What action do Post Office account holders need to take?
Benefit claimants who have Child Benefit or Guardian Allowance paid into a Post Office card account can update their bank details through their Personal Tax Account, by contacting the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100, or via GOV.UK. Meanwhile, tax credit claimants should contact the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900.
Anyone who is struggling to set up another account is advised to contact HMRC.
For those with Post Office savings accounts, you can add a linked account by logging on to your account on the Post Office website, or by writing to Savings T&Cs, PO Box 2320, Belfast, BT1 9BL. It is worth noting that direct debits will also no longer be accepted from 1 March 2022, so these should be cancelled or changed to standing orders ahead of this date.
How to find a new bank account
If you are looking for a new bank account, it is worth checking out our round-up of the best current accounts and best regular savings accounts to help find the right option for you. Alternatively, check out our best current account switching offers.