Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (282)

Holly Cairns

Question:

282. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Finance the progress his Department has made on implementing a new community banking service operated by An Post to be made available in all post offices throughout the country, as stated in the debate on the Private Members’ motion of 16 November 2016 on the post office network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38528/20]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

This question is primarily a matter for the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Mr Eamon Ryan TD, as An Post is a body under the aegis of his Department.

My role in relation to the provision of services by An Post relates purely to payment services, for which I as the Minister for Finance authorise An Post to provide. This authorisation is under the Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983 (Section 67) Order 2016.

However, I can provide some information regarding the work of my Department on community banking.

In December 2019, the Department of Finance published a report on the Evaluation of Concept of Community Banking in Ireland by Indecon Consultants. This followed on from the publication of a previous report by the Department of Finance on Local Public Banking in July 2018.

The Indecon report looked at An Post in the context of community banking in Ireland. The report noted that An Post has a large number of post office branches and is present in every county in Ireland. Analysis by Indecon showed that An Post has in excess of 500 post offices in locations where there are no banks within 5 km.

The report noted that An Post plays an important part of the local community banking infrastructure. An Post is now offering an increasing range of banking services, including current accounts and personal lending.