Far from being grateful to us for increasing our stamp spend by 50% since 14 January, our local Post Office has begun handing out motor insurance prospectuses to customers going in to tax their cars.

Its smiling message is: "We may be able to save you up to £100."

I am concerned that being greeted with a beam rather than the usual scowl will so disconcert patrons that, their defences momentarily down, they might rashly entrust their car insurance to an agent of the state.

No doubt normal service will be resumed when the customer returns with an accident report form.

The serious points here are that the Post Office is using privileged information to identify customers who have vehicles to insure and in trying to persuade customers to apply for a quotation their staff are acting as more than passive introducers, which should be of interest to both the Information Commissioner and the FSA.
Jim Harris
Wye Insurance Consultants