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Social Welfare Payments Administration

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 10 March 2021

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Questions (580)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

580. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection if her Department utilises a bank (details supplied) for making social welfare payments to recipients; her views on whether making payments through a bank which has no physical branches could have an impact on recipients; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12794/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

My Department, like every other Government Department and Office, is required to move its banking operations to Danske Bank on foot of a Government decision to tender for an “All of Government” Banking Service in 2017.

The Government’s objective then was to identify the most economically advantageous arrangement for the provision of an efficient, streamlined, cost-effective banking structure for all Government Departments and Offices. The solution also had to provide the maximum degree of integration with the new Financial Management Shared Service project. Following a tender process, Danske Bank was awarded the contract in June 2018.

The Department of Social Protection uses commercial banks to make payments directly into a beneficiary’s account by electronic fund transfer (EFT), to issue cheque payments, to receive money by direct debit and standing order, and to lodge money received as either cheque or cash. The Department’s non-banking services consist of cash payments at post offices and this is unaffected by the change of banking provider.

To date, the Department of Social Protection’s banking migration project teams have successfully moved 99.2% of EFT payments and 89.9% of cheque payments to Danske Bank. Direct debits and standing orders have also been moved while cash lodgements are scheduled to migrate to Danske Bank over the next few weeks.

As Danske Bank does not have any branches, it has entered into an agreement with An Post to provide it with a network of outlets covering all of the State.

Question No. 581 answered with Question No. 578.
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