Royal Mail has slumped to the foot of the FTSE 100 as regulators shot down its claims that the six-day-a-week universal delivery service is under threat from fast-growing competition.
Even though it was part privatised last year, the five-century-old postal service is still required to deliver to all 29 million UK addresses from Monday to Saturday at a uniform price.
Whistl, formerly known as TNT Post, has emerged as a serious rival in several big cities, including London. But it does not have to deliver letters to every address in an area or for a minimum number of days per week. Royal Mail wants Whistl and other nascent competitors to face similar rules so that they don’t just “cherry-pick” the best routes.
But the regulator Ofcom has dismissed Royal Mail’s claims and questioned whether Royal Mail had achieved a “reasonable rate of improvement” in making efficiency savings. The shares fell 3 per cent to 405.5p.
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