The Irish Postmasters' Union has called on Bank of Ireland to roll out bank accounts with An Post in line with the decision to do so in the UK with the Post Office.

Bank of Ireland is to pilot a scheme in the UK next year, which will see the Post Office offer current accounts to its customers.

The union pointed out that the An Post network already offers a range of banking transaction services as well as savings products.

''Currently some 18% of people in Ireland are 'unbanked' and for this group the Post Office is their supplier of first choice,'' commented Brian McGann, the general secretary of the IPU.

He also said there is a very high level of trust with An Post and its customers.

''At a time when many financial institutions are reducing the number of branches throughout the country, there is a strong argument for entering into a joint venture with An Post and availing of the 1,100 post offices run by our members'', he added.