The Post Office blames the government’s decision to pay DSS benefits directly into claimants' bank accounts rather than over PO counters as the main reason for the loss it is expected to announce later today.

The DSS’s move deprived it of over £400,000 in annual revenues plus the £571m write-off of an associated computerisation project, claims the Post Office, resulting in its first annual loss in nearly 25 years - at least £250 million, say insiders.

Last year the Post Office's chief executive, John Roberts, forecast current fiscal profits of up to £350 million before the exceptional write-off.

News source: The Times (London)