Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Post Offices and Credit Unions Merger
164. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the work undertaken by his Department to date on the development of public banking here as envisaged in the programme for Government; and the planned timeframe for completion of this work. [2162/17]
The Programme for a Partnership Governmentenvisages that An Post, the League of Credit Unions and other interested stakeholders will be asked to investigate and propose a new model of “community banking”, such as the Kiwibank model in New Zealand, which could be delivered through the Post Office network. The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development of local public banks that operate within well-defined regions. The role of my Department in this matter will be to work with other Departments and stakeholders to examine the feasibility of these, and potentially other, models.
Senior officials from my Department had an initial meeting with their counterparts in the Department of Finance towards the end of last year and agreed to develop a work programme to examine the potential of the Sparkassen model and other models of local public banking, as referenced in the Programme for a Partnership Government.
Officials from both Departments will meet again in the next few weeks, with work anticipated to conclude by the middle of the year. It is envisaged that relevant stakeholders will be consulted as part of the work programme.
My Department has no role in respect of wider public banking issues, which are a matter for the Department of Finance.