An Post hopes to provide mortgages to Irish consumers from Spring 2020.
A spokeswoman for An Post confirmed that a tender process to choose a mortgage provider is currently underway.
It is part of the company's efforts to diversify its offerings. In its annual report for 2018, An Post said that revenue grew by 7% to €897 million last year. A decline in the sending of letters was offset by 40% increase in parcel sales. Operating profit increased to €40 million in 2018 from just €8 million in 2017.
A spokeswoman for An Post confirmed that efforts are advanced in terms of An Post's entry to the mortgage market: "A tender process is currently underway to choose a mortgage provider for the provision of An Post Mortgages in Ireland. It attracted significant interest from potential providers and we plan to bring a mortgage product to market in Spring 2020."
"The future of An Post's retail business is all about financial services, online and in-store, alongside more e-commerce products (AddressPal online shopping collection and returns, for example), and becoming a gateway to even more Government services."
An Post this week also announced new sub-brands in An Post Money - a new 'expanded suite' of financial services, including credit cards, debit cards, personal loans and multi-currency FX cards; and An Post Commerce - a new business-to-business brand providing e-commerce, mail and mail media for domestic and international businesses.
Daragh Cassidy of price comparison and switching site, bonkers.ie, said the addition of another provider to the mortgage market 'can only be a good thing' for consumers: "A lot of attention will focus on An Post's entry into the mortgage market given the high rates that consumers pay here. And while increased competition should help drive mortgage rates lower in the longer term, many of the same factors that have led to higher rates in Ireland will apply to An Post."
Mr Cassidy added that Credit Unions could potentially play an important role in the mortgage market in the future but added that there are major issues around regulation and compliance in the sector which need to be fully addressed before they can take on the risk associated with mortgage lending.