As the Deputy is aware, my Department in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development, issued a report on Local Public Banking in Ireland last year. The report concluded that there is not a compelling case for the State to establish a new local public banking system based on the German Sparkassen model in Ireland.
A commitment was given in the report that my Department would arrange for an independent evaluation to consider how the objectives of community banking and how the local provision of banking and financial services could be furthered through other delivery mechanisms.
Following a procurement process, the contract was awarded to Indecon earlier this year. Work on the independent evaluation is currently well underway and I understand that the report will be completed in the near future.