High Value Packet and Bankers Special Packet Rates 1930-1998

1986: double BSP tag from Ballivanich, Isle of Benbecula, paying 12.39 rate

It was necessary for banks to transfer new banknotes from the head office out to the branches, and to "retire" used notes back to the head office for destruction. In addition, a number of national banks in Scotland, Northern Ireland and elsewhere had the right to issue their own notes. As these banknotes were accepted tender throughout the UK, there was a need for "repatriation" of used notes between receiving and issuing banks.

The High Value Packet (HVP) service was designed for this class of mail, and was thus only available to banks. It offered security additional to that provided by the registered post, and started in most of Great Britain on 16th June 1930, but was only extended to major Scottish cities late in 1960, and to the whole of Scotland on 1st March 1961. HVPs were carried at normal postage rates for the minimum registration fee until the introduction of a special "additional charge" per pound in 1966, and were distinguished by a special label with white text "HVP".

The HVP service ended in most of the country in 1973, replaced by the use of security firms, except in Scotland where the remoteness of Highland banks and the long stretches of lonely road made security firm operation difficult. It ended in Scotland also in 1975, but was quickly replaced by the "Bankers Special Packet" (BSP) service which had a flat rate charge based on an assumed average weight of 7lb. The 1983 charge lasted until the registered post service was folded into the new special delivery service in 1998.

Reference: High Value Packets and Bankers Special Packets the Post Office 'secret' services by Mike O'Hara, available from the downloads section of this site.

High Value Packets, 1930-1975

The charges below were to be added to postage at the normal letter rate and the minimum registration fee.

Date Rate Date Rate Date Rate
(16 Jun)
No special charge 1966
(10 Jan)
2s per lb 1969
(1 Jan)
4s 6d per lb
(15 Feb)
22p per lb 1975
(17 Mar)
Service ended

Bankers' Special Packets, 1975-1998

The charges below were a flat rate regardless of weight, with no additional fees payable.

Date Rate Date Rate Date Rate
(18 Aug)
4.75 1976
(7 Jun)
6.15 1977
(13 Jun)
(20 Aug)
7.80 1980
(4 Mar)
9.30 1981
(26 Jan)
(1 Feb)
12.03 1983
(5 Apr)
12.39 1998
(12 Oct)
Service ended