An Post seeks permission to offer customers current accounts
An Post has applied for a licence to allow it to offer current accounts to customers.
The move is at an early stage, but could provide a threat to the major banks. It is understood An Post is seeking to operate full current accounts.
Taxpayer-rescued banks have reacted to the financial crash by gradually removing free banking options for householders.
Now the 1,000-plus post offices countrywide could challenge the dominance of the main banks by offering better-value current accounts.
An Post has been trying to get back into consumer banking since Belgium bank Fortis pulled out of a joint venture with it, called Postbank, in 2010.
Post offices currently offer banking services for customers of AIB and Ulster Bank.
An Post does not need a banking partner to offer current accounts - day-to-day payments servicing accounts. Providing banking services through post offices was recommended in a report done for Communications Minister Alex White in May by a committee headed up by entrepreneur Bobby Kerr.