Fears over post of­fice pri­vacy

Wor­ries about‘pa­thetic’shop counter

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Concerns about pri­vacy dur­ing fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions at a Half­way Post Of­fice have been raised weeks af­ter the last bank closed in Cam­bus­lang.

The post of­fice, sit­u­ated within the Value Con­ve­nience Store, at 215 Hamil­ton Road, has been lam­basted for be­ing too close to the gro­cery store till.

And, with an ex­pected in­crease in fi­nan­cial ser­vices as a re­sult of the clo­sure of Cam­bus­lang banks, cam­paign­ers say it is more im­por­tant than ever that the pri­vacy is­sue is ad­dressed.

Andy Dixon, a mem­ber of Half­way Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, says the sweets stand sep­a­rat­ing the post of­fice counter from the gen­eral till area is a “pa­thetic” at­tempt at pri­vacy.

He has writ­ten to Post Of­fice Ltd ask­ing that the pre­vi­ous ‘bank teller’ type counter be re­in­stated at the back of the store.

Mr Dixon said: “This ar­range­ment of­fers ab­so­lutely no pri­vacy to the cus­tomer un­der­tak­ing sen­si­tive trans­ac­tions, with ev­ery word of the ex­change be­tween post of­fice counter staff and their cus­tomers be­ing eas­ily over­heard by ev­ery­one, whether they are stand­ing in the­p­ost of­fice queue or the ad­ja­cent con­ve­nience store queue.

“It is surely not be­yond the grasp of Post Of­fice Ltd that the cur­rent ar­range­ment for cus­tomers un­der­tak­ing sen­si­tive fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions at this lo­ca­tion com­pro­mises not only their pri­vacy but also their safety too.

“It only takes one des­per­ate in­di­vid­ual to be tempted by a sum of cash with­drawn by a vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­ual, such as a pen­sioner, for that in­di­vid­ual to become a tar­get of crime. Pos­si­bly vi­o­lent crime.”

Mr Dixon added: “Given that many bank­ing providers are leav­ing our com­mu­nity, this will force many more people to use post of­fice counter fa­cil­i­ties where they are avail­able.”

Cly­des­dale Bank closed their doors for the fi­nal time last month, while TSB shut their out­let ear­lier this year, and the Royal Bank of Scot­land the year be­fore.

All three banks have en­cour­aged their cus­tomers to use their lo­cal post of­fice for ‘ev­ery­day’ fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

But a spokesman for Post Of­fice Ltd said there was no prob­lem at the store.

He said: “Al­though the lo­cal style for­mat is a dif­fer­ent way of pro­vid­ing a ser­vice, se­cu­rity and pri­vacy are not com­pro­mised.

“All our branches have ro­bust se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures in place, and any­one han­dling Post Of­fice trans­ac­tions is fully trained on all op­er­a­tional and ser­vice is­sues, in­clud­ing cus­tomer pri­vacy to en­sure they meet Post Of­fice Ltd stan­dards.”

It only takes one in­di­vid­ual to be tempted by a sum of cash

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