Affordable Financial Services: A No-Brainer
For immediate release, May 21, 2015
Contact: Jamie Horwitz, email@example.com, 202//549-4921
Katherine Isaac, 202 842-8589
ATMs, Check Cashing, Bill Paying Services, International Money Transfers Could Be Coming to
Your Local Post Office – Soon
Report Issued Today by USPS Inspector General Offers a Win-Win Approach to Affordable Financial Services for Millions of Americans While Creating a Stronger U.S. Postal Service, Says Labor/Consumer Coalition
WASHINGTON – The Campaign for Postal Banking, a coalition of consumer, civic and labor organizations, said today that a just-released report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service outlines the next steps for implementing affordable financial services while strengthening the Postal Service.
“It’s a no-brainer,” says Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), one of the organizations that helped form the Campaign for Postal Banking. “The Inspector General report confirms that the Postal Service can act now to provide consumers with affordable financial services while strengthening our trusted national treasure, the public Postal Service.”
The report says that expanding and enhancing existing financial services such as money orders, international money transfers, check cashing and bill pay could be accomplished without an act of Congress. According to the OIG’s conservative estimate, this expansion could bring in $1.1 billion in annual revenue within five years.
“The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services,” issued today by the USPS Office of Inspector General, outlines how expanding existing financial services and working toward longer-term new services “could benefit the 68 million underserved Americans who either do not have a bank account or rely on expensive services like payday lending and check cashing.”
“Postal banking is an idea whose time has come,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “It will help provide services to the underbanked and provide an alternative to the predatory financial industry, while simultaneously providing new revenue to the postal service, a public asset and public treasure.”
Among the expanded offerings, post offices “could provide ATMs where recipients of government benefits could withdraw funds without paying a fee,” according to the report. “No-fee ATMs for senior citizens and an easy, affordable way to cash Social Security checks can make a huge difference for retirees living on fixed incomes,” said Richard Fiesta of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “The USPS should take steps now to turn the OIG recommendations into real actions that offer better service, save consumers billions of dollars and make our neighborhood post offices stronger for years to come.”
In addition to taking immediate steps to expand and enhance existing services and designing and conducting market tests for new services and products, the Campaign for Postal Banking is calling for the USPS to establish a task force to consider how to best implement the Inspector General’s recommendations for both expanded and new postal banking services.
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About the Campaign for Postal Banking
The Campaign for Postal Banking is a coalition of consumer, worker, financial reform, economic justice, community, civic, and faith-based organizations building a campaign-based movement to inform and mobilize the public to call on the United States Postal Service to take the necessary steps to restore and expand postal banking at its branches across the country. Find out more at the Campaign for Postal Banking’s website at: www.campaignforpostalbanking.org
Endorsing organizations include: Alliance for Retired Americans ▪ Americans for Financial Reform ▪ American Postal Workers Union ▪Center for Study of Responsive Law ▪ Coalition of Black Trade Unionists ▪ Commonomics USA ▪ Essential Information ▪ Interfaith Worker Justice ▪ National Association of Letter Carriers ▪ National People’s Action ▪ National Postal Mail Handlers Union ▪ National Rural Letter Carriers Association ▪ Public Citizen ▪ United for a Fair Economy ▪ USAction