Business Irish

Monday 18 December 2017

Banks said no to offers of stake in Postbank

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

DOMESTIC banks turned down offers to take up a 50pc stake in Postbank after French bank BNP Paribas decided to pull out of the joint venture, it has been learned.

An Post tried and failed to get the likes of Bank of Ireland and AIB to take the stake in the post office retail banking operation.

Postbank said last week it would close by the end of the year.

The bank, which operates in around 1,000 post offices, employs more than 260 people around the country.

Some 150 workers at its call centre in Athlone also face redundancy.

The bank has deposits of €450m and 170,000 customers. It has 70,000 savings and 35,000 current accounts, 90,000 insurance policies and 10,000 credit-card customers.

The Irish Independent understands that the 50pc stake owned by the French bank was offered to domestic banks with a view to them investing, and providing retailing banking infrastructure for Postbank.

But no domestic banks were in a position to get involved in the joint venture, such is the state of their balance sheets at the moment.

A spokeswoman for An Post had no comment on the efforts to get domestic banks on board with Postbank, but she emphasised that providing financial services was central to An Post's corporate strategy.

"An Post is now in active discussions with other parties regarding the development and provision of such services," she added.

Irish Independent

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