The Post Office Ltd have announced significant increases in the amount of money they will pay postmasters for carrying out banking transactions.
It is understood that rates will more than double for some post offices.
Postmasters are paid varying rates for a range of transactions carried out at Post Offices, including depositing and withdrawing money on behalf of other banks.
Following a raft of bank branch closures across the Scottish Borders, the likes of RBS and Bank of Scotland are increasingly encouraging customers to use the Post Office to withdraw and deposit money. However, postmasters have said that they are not being paid fairly to handle this extra work.
This rate increase will provide much needed support to struggling postmasters in the Scottish Borders. The news follows a survey by the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters which found that one in five post offices across Scotland are considering closing or downsizing in the next year.
Local MP John Lamont has welcomed the increase in payments to post masters but has said more needs to be done to secure the future of rural post offices across Scotland.
Commenting, John Lamont MP said: “Most people are probably unaware of how our local post offices are financially sustainable. Because they get paid per transaction carried out, they rely on customer numbers as well as the rate from Post Office Ltd.
“This significant increase in the amount of money post masters will get paid for banking transactions is certainly welcome. When bank branches are closing across the Borders, there is potential for postmasters to gain from increased customers.
“However, I’m aware from speaking to local post offices that these changes, while welcome, are not enough. With one in five post offices at risk of closure, it is a difficult time for the network.
“I will be making it clear that more needs to be done to protect the long-term future of our vital post office network during a debate in Parliament this week.”