The Post Office has decided to join the UK government’s Help to Buy Scheme along with its financial services partner, Bank of Ireland UK.

Having started offering mortgages in 2009 with best rates, the Post Office has recently reduced its five year fixed rate mortgage at 4.45%, helping first-time buyers, movers and remortgage customers.

In addition to joining the Help to Buy Scheme, the Post Office will increase its number of mortgage specialist branches to 100 to meet the growing demand for consultations nationwide.

Post Office mortgages head, John Willcock, said joining the Help to Buy scheme is the latest in a series of steps to affirm Post Office as the go-to mortgage provider for those wanting to get their first foot on the property ladder.

"Coupled with the increased number of Mortgage Specialists to cope with unprecedented demand from movers, first-time buyers and those looking to re-mortgage, Post Office will provide more customers with the chance to speak to experts about the options available, consolidating its position as a leading player in the market," Willcock added.

Currently, the best Help to Buy rates are offered by HSBC through its two-year fix for 4.79% and five-year fix for 4.99%, both with a fee of £99.

In another development, Spanish lender Santander is launching its Help to Buy Scheme with rates of 4.99% for a two-year fix and 5.49% for a five-year fix, without any booking fee. It is also launching the first tracker product under Help to Buy 2, a two-year variable rate tracker for 4.99%.