Correos announced this Thursday one more step to offer financial services in its offices, especially in rural areas. Specifically, the public company has announced an agreement with Santander so that the clients of this entity can withdraw or deposit money in their bank accounts. The agreement, which comes into force on January 1, is the most important of those it has signed with financial groups.
Banco Santander will use the network of Post Offices to offer these services. They will be free up to a maximum of two operations per month and only for clients of the bank chaired by Ana Botín. The service works through the bank's mobile application, where the customer can request cash and collect it from a postman. Those customers who are not connected to this platform may also request this type of financial services by presenting their ID and bank card at any of the more than 4,600 offices that Correos has throughout Spain.
The bank explained that it focuses on 75% of localities with less than 1,000 inhabitants where it no longer has a presence through its branches, and there is a Post Office. "It will allow Santander to reach 66% of the population that until now did not have a cash service in their municipality," says the financial group. The entity ensures that Andalusia, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Castilla y León will be the communities most benefited by this plan.
The public company explains that it is not the first alliance it has with a bank to offer similar financial services, although Santander is the largest to date. There are also agreements with Evo Banco, now owned by Bankinter, with Mediolanum or with Banco Farma. Likewise, they assure that "we are open to more alliances".
The company announced at the beginning of 2019 that it was opening its offices to offer this type of financial services. Specifically, this strategy is framed in the search for new businesses for the entire Post Office network in Spain. "While the bank is withdrawing its capacity, its offices, in the Post Office it is the other way around and seeks to expand the services it offers to its citizens," said the president of the company, Juan Manuel Serrano. As detailed then, "several banks" had already contacted Correos, about the eventual signing of commercial agreements for their offices to provide certain banking services, such as management of bills or signatures, and checking accounts.
These types of alliances are woven at a time when a significant number of rural areas in Spain are running out of bank branches due to the disappearance of the old savings banks and the closure of offices that financial institutions are making within their plans to reduce business costs. According to Ivie data, 52.2% of Spanish municipalities do not have any bank branch. There are 4,244 localities without the presence of financial entities. In some communities such as Castilla y León, the percentage exceeds 80%.