Postbank, the financial services joint venture between BNP Paribas and An Post, increased its deposit base by nearly 500% in 2008 from €51.7m to €301m, according to its most recent accounts.

The funding boon allowed the bank to lend €139m on the interbank markets in the year, most of which went to Irish institutions – apart from €28m lent to banks in Luxembourg. Postbank lent only €99,000 to retail customers, as it only launched its credit- card product in late November 2008. The bank booked no impairments on any of its loan assets for the year.

Postbank, which operates out of An Post branches, has spent much of its two years building up a deposit base. Credit cards and overdrafts are so far the only lending products, although the bank is preparing to launch personal loans in the near future. Postbank also has a capital-secure investment product which is designed to enhance liquidity by providing another way of capturing customers' savings.