Four out of five adults in Northern Ireland believe there is a need for a publicly-run bank, according to a new poll.
The survey by the Post Bank Coalition, which is campaigning for a Post Office bank, also found that over half of Northern Ireland adults said they would be likely to use a publicly-run bank at the Post Office.
The results of the poll came one week before the government closes a consultation into post office banking. The coalition said the poll was evidence of growing demand for a “new model of banking” based on the post office network.
A coalition spokesman said: “Given the strong results, the Post Bank Coalition is calling on government to use the consultation as an opportunity to establish a publicly owned Post Bank in the Post Office.
“Growing consensus among politicians and the public make this an easily achievable ‘must’ for government.”
The online poll was based on weighted results from the votes of 2,097 adults, of whom 59 were from Northern Ireland.
Just over 60% of respondents from Northern Ireland said they agreed with the principle that profits from post office banking should stay in the business and be used to sustain the network.
Wilfred Mitchell, Northern Ireland policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The results from this survey show very clearly that the high street banks do not meet the needs of small businesses and that a Post Bank — a new bank set up in Post Offices around the country — would provide a solution to the problem of poor access to finance.