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Kassaservice to be replaced by private sector

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16:59 CET+01:00
Svensk Kassaservice, the state-owned counter service at which Swedes can pay bills, order ID cards and carry out basic banking, is to close. Its services will be taken over by the private sector. The closure of Svensk Kassaservice will lead to 1,250 job losses.

The idea had been floated of asking Posten, the Swedish post office, the parent company of Svensk Kassaservice, to take over the role.

Instead, the government will ask the Swedish National Post and Telecom Agency (Post- och telestyrelsen - PTS) to commission services now offered by Svensk Kassaservice. The aim is to ensure that access to services now offered by Svensk Kassaservice is maintained.

Use of Svensk Kassaservice has fallen over the past few years, as more people have started paying bills online. This has made the chain, which is state subsidized, expensive to run.

The number of Svensk Kassaservice employees has fallen from 1,400 to 1,250 over the past year, after the closure of a number of branch offices. The remaining jobs will go when the service closes at the end of 2008.

The government has asked PTS to carry out an analysis of where state subsidies will be needed to ensure service levels are maintained.

"I am convinced that through this change the service will be maintained, at the same time as it will provide new opportunities for local businesses to develop," said Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson.

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