The launch of the framework comes at an opportune time for over 100 local authorities following the Co-Operative Bank’s recent announcement that it will no longer be able to provide them with banking services as it looks to narrow its focus on retail and small business customers.
Three banks have been carefully selected by ESPO to join the framework. Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland will offer a range of banking solutions especially designed to help local authorities, central government, schools, social housing providers, police, NHS, and all other public sector organisations with their banking requirements.
The banks have all agreed to terms and conditions as part of the framework meaning that customers will not need to undergo lengthy negotiation processes with the banks directly to access the best deals.
Customers of the ESPO banking framework can access a range of banking services to suit their requirements. The framework is made up of the three following lots:
- Lot 1 – General banking services
- Lot 2 – Merchant acquiring services
- Lot 3 – Bill payment systems
The banks on the framework have been awarded via a fully EU/UK compliant route and the terms and conditions already in place will underpin all contracts placed under the agreement. ESPO has also assessed the banks based on past performance, experience and technical and professional ability and compliance with the FCA and PCI DSS standards.
Shradha Shikotra, buyer, professional services at ESPO said: “This new framework is available to any public sector organisation and has support from the Local Government Association.
“We have worked hard to ensure it covers the needs of our customers and have done all the necessary negotiations with the banks to save our customers from having to undertake this lengthy process themselves.
“All contracts can be customised to meet the specific needs of our customers, safe in the knowledge that they are supported by a robust and regulatory set of terms and conditions.”