POST offices should have a greater role in the re-organisation of banking in the State, the Irish Postmasters' Union has said.
The post office network is larger than the combined branch network of AIB, BoI, NIB, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank, the union pointed out.
Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) general secretary Brian McGann said post offices were already providing banking business for AIB and NIB.
He wants them to become a channel of choice for reformed banking and financial transaction services in areas outside of other providers' reach. "With a network of 1,100 fully automated Post Offices, the opportunity to provide the public with access to banking transaction services across the length and breadth of the country is unique," Mr McGann said.
His call follows the recent government announcement that it is planning a major overhaul and streamlining of banking, with AIB announcing plans for major downsizing.
Mr McGann said the role of post offices in keeping services available in local communities would also help maintain employment by providing additional services.
"Over recent years, the post office network has proved extremely effective at providing customers with a combination of services in one location, such as the provision of Bill Pay facilities to customers in receipt of social welfare payments.
"There is no reason why local post offices can't provide a whole variety of services," Mr McGann added.