Savings hit by new rules

27 September 2004
The Post Office has been warned that a new savings scheme must comply with the UK's strict money-laundering legislation.

The Post Office savings stamp cards, which have a maximum value of £100, are designed to help low-income families to budget.

However, the Post Office has now reportedly been told that the savings must on no account be turned into cash in order to comply with money-laundering restrictions.

The stamps help users save money to pay for gas, electricity and other household bills and no more than £500 worth of stamps can be redeemed in a single transaction. Subscribers must also provide an identification document for any transaction worth more than £100.

Simon Carter, head of marketing at the Post Office, told The Times: "We are trying to be extra vigilant. Money-laundering is a fact of life."

All transactions made at Post Office branches are covered by the Financial Services Authority's anti money-laundering guidelines and branches are trained to be compliant with the latest regulations. The Post office also recently updated compliance checks in branches to ensure that they are fully in line with the latest legislation.

The £5 savings stamps were relaunched this August after an absence of 40 years. The Post Office said sales of the stamps had gone "exceptionally well", with more than 250,000 sold so far this year.
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