Royal Mail has been fined £5.6m by Ofcom for failing to meet its annual delivery targets.

This news comes after many Berkshire-wide communities reported delays in deliveries, with some stating that some post never arrives at all. Read more here.

As previously reported, Ofcom has expressed concern that Royal Mail appears to have a lack of control and visibility at certain delivery offices, especially considering those with high absences and vacancies.

Ofcom has released a statement saying: “We have fined Royal Mail £5.6m for failing to meet its 2022/23 delivery targets by a significant and unexplained margin.”

They also reported that delays have caused considerable harm to customers, and found that insufficient steps were taken by Royal Mail to prevent this failure.

Each year Royal Mail is required to deliver 93% of First Class mail within one working day and 98.5% of Second Class mail within three working days.

They also have to complete 99.9% of delivery routes for each day on which a delivery is required.

In 2022/23, Royal Mail’s reported performance results showed that it had only delivered 73.7% of First Class mail on time and 90.7% of Second Class mail on time.

The results also showed that they had only completed 89.35% of delivery routes for each day.

Ofcom Director of Enforcement Ian Strawhorne said: “Royal Mail’s role in our lives carries huge responsibility and we know from our research that customers value reliability and consistency.

“Clearly, the pandemic had a significant impact on Royal Mail’s operations in previous years. But we warned the company it could no longer use that as an excuse, and it just hasn’t got things back on track since.

“The company’s let consumers down, and today’s fine should act as a wake-up call – it must take its responsibilities more seriously. We’ll continue to hold Royal Mail to account to make sure it improves service levels.”

The statement released by Ofcom read that they have considered evidence submitted by Royal Mail of exceptional circumstances that may have explained why it missed its targets.

However, even after adjusting Royal Mail’s performance for the impact of industrial action, extreme weather, and the Stansted runway closure, its First and Second Class performance was still only 82% and 95.5%.

The statement concluded these findings, stating that Royal Mail breached its obligations by failing to meet its targets by a significant and unexplained margin.