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Irish opt to save their money in Post Office accounts Photo by: Robert J.Carlsen

Irish reject banks, jump to post office accounts

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Irish opt to save their money in Post Office accounts Photo by: Robert J.Carlsen

More than ten percent of the national savings market in Ireland is now controlled by the Irish Post Office (An Post). Over $7 billion has been placed in Irish post offices since 2008.

The state-owned company benefited from unexpected and unprecedented deposits during the financial crisis, new figures reported in the Irish Independent this week show.

To underline their improved fortunes, the Irish Post Office announced this week that their market share has risen from 6.2 percent at the beginning of the financial crisis to 10.3 percent now.

With Allied Irish Bank, Anglo Irish, Irish Nationwide now all in semi or complete state ownership, the increase in the Irish Post Office savings book market came during a particularly dreadful year for Irish banks, with corporate deposits being withdrawn in record amounts.

In response to growing demand the Irish Post Office plans to add more government and banking services across the country. Although its savings rates are generally lower than the Irish banks the company said it was operating the savings service at lower cost than the commercial banks.

An Post offers a basic range of savings accounts, including popular special offers aimed at pensioners and children. An Post is now also a major Irish insurer, offering travel, house and car insurance through its One Direct subsidiary.

Last year the Post Office reportedly increased its annual revenue, but profit margins are still described as slim and it has admitted it intends to reduce its workforce significantly over the next five years.

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