Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Ceisteanna (58)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

58. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance his plans to advance proposals for community banking, with particular reference to the role of the post office network in the further development of financial services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39253/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

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 kms.

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.

My role in relation to the provision of financial services specifically by the post office network relates primarily 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.

For all other matters related to the post office network, I defer to the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communication, Mr Eamon Ryan, TD. An Post is a body under the aegis of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.