News Release

Mayors Call for Postal Banking; Big Bankers Hit Back

On July 7, U.S. News & World Report hosted a debate on postal banking. In “The Big Benefits of Postal Service Banking.” Senator Elizabeth Warren writes: “The Postal Service already has a presence in low-income and rural communities, and it could leverage that infrastructure to provide access to lower-cost basic banking services. This idea is a win-win: The Postal Service could offer affordable financial services for underserved families and, at the same time, shore up its own financial footing. The inspector general estimates the USPS can generate billions of dollars in new revenues by offering these services for modest fees.” In response, Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association cites the USPS’s losses of $46.2 billion dollars over the last eight years to conclude: “The Postal Service is more likely to burden our already strained federal budget than increase access for consumers.”

PostalReporter.com reported on July 3: “U.S. Conference of Mayors Endorse Postal Banking.”

At its June 20-23 annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed two resolutions in favor of United States Post Office-run banking services. One resolution calls for post office-based financial services as alternatives to predatory payday lending. The other resolution calls for a USPS-run infrastructure bank funded by private bank accounts like those held by millions of Americans until the 1960s.

MAYOR VIRG BERNARO, via Nicholas Soucy, nicholas.soucy at lansingmi.gov
Available for a limited number of interviews, Lansing Mayor Bernaro was primary sponsor of two postal banking resolutions passed at the 2014 United States Conference of Mayors annual meeting. The payday lending resolution reads, in part, “Approximately 12 million people turn to small-dollar, short-term ‘payday loans’ to make ends meet or cover emergency expenses … payday borrowers typically have no cash cushion, no savings, poor or no credit, and nowhere else to turn but payday lenders and other such financial predators … these predators charge exorbitant fees and usurious interest that result in effective annual percentage rates (APRs) averaging nearly 400 percent.”

MARC ARMSTRONG, marc at bankact.org,
Armstrong is co-founder of BankACT and the Public Banking Institute. He has said: “By offering inexpensive financial services, the USPS can help drive out financial predators, restoring billions of dollars to low-income neighborhoods at no cost to taxpayers … BankACT invites all mayors and other elected officials to take a stand with us on this trillion-dollar issue.”

See also: “Postal Service Crisis Brought on by Bizarre Law.”