Retailers have welcomed a Post Office plan to promote the banking capabilities of its branches in small communities as a way to drive shoppers into stores.

As many small towns across the UK lose bank branches, the Post Office has said it will launch a media campaign to promote its banking services to customers. It will start with regional campaigns in the north west of England and in East Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway later this year.

The Highlands community of Beauly has lost several high street banks in recent years. Brad Collins, owner of Cannich Stores & Post Office in the town, told RN: “We’re very happy the Post Office is recognising how important in-store banking services are becoming to stores and to the community.”

He said retailers can boost profits by spreading the word of their banking capabilities themselves. “We use our Facebook page and a local community newsletter to tell locals we can essentially do everything a bank can in the shop. Often customers start banking with us simply after we explain to them what our Post Office counter can do.”