Ryan "No plan to close post offices"

27 February 2014

Ryan “I welcome the clear statement by Minister Pat Rabbitte that there is no intention to close Post Offices. Many people have contacted me in the past few days worried about the futures of post offices, particularly in Lusk and Rush.”

Ryan “It seems to me this concern was fanned by certain political groups to whip up fervour before the Local Elections in May. This has caused an awful lot of distress for residents of these towns, particularly older residents who use the post office regularly. I believe there are enough real issues to debate in the build up to the local elections without certain forces whipping up needless concern in a bid to strike fear into local people.”

Ryan “I also welcome Minister Rabbitte’s commitment that the Cabinet Sub-Committee will report within 6 months on a whole-of-government approach to ensuring the future sustainability of the postal network throughout the country. As Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil, “There is no plan to close Post Offices. Unless there is a compelling case, the Government doesn’t want to see a single Post Office closed,”

 

Notes for Editors:

Having invested heavily in the computerisation of all post offices, the post office network is well positioned to become the front office provider of choice for Government and financial services sector. Any such developments are subject to public procurement requirements as appropriate. For 2012 alone, Government revenue earned by An Post amounted to over €197million broken down as:

  • Mails income €50m,
  • Election/Referendum €4m,
  • DSP €59m,
  • NTMA €54m,
  • TV/Dog Licences €12m and other €0.8m.

Arrangements between Government and the postal network, which is a network of commercial enterprises, are subject to EU Procurement and Competition Law.

Given the collapse in mail volumes (25% over 5 years) a key focus for An Post is to secure new revenue sources based on services/products offering higher value in both the mails and the post office business.

Recent “Business Wins” is the progress towards diversification with its enhanced arrangement with AIB and its agreement with Aviva. The opportunity to pay the local property tax via An Post outlets is another. Only last year An Post won the Social Welfare contract following a competitive tender process.

New Business Lines introduced over recent years include:

  • Bill Payment
  • Passport Applications
  • TV Licences
  • Garda Fines
  • Gun Licences
  • Insurance Services – on behalf of One Direct, post offices take insurance referrals for customers.
  • Foreign Exchange – cash service – pre loaded foreign exchange debit card (An Post estimates to have over 30% of the retail market)
  • Postfone
  • Extended Banking Services – AIB deposit and withdrawal at all post offices – extended AIB services at dedicated post offices including cheque lodgements.
  • Local Property Tax
  • Gift Vouchers