POSTAL SERVICE BANKING PROPOSAL
- ICBA opposes allowing the U.S. Postal Service to provide financially-related services.
- The USPS’s governmental status would allow it to eventually become another financially-related government-sponsored-enterprise.
- The USPS’s financial challenges should restrain, not facilitate, expansion of USPS activities.
- The USPS’s financial services activities would threaten the existence of many community banks including those in remote and rural regions of the United States.
- Ultimately, Americans would be harmed by the USPS’s encroachment into financial services as they would lose their ability to deal with locally-based professional banking staff.
ICBA adamantly opposes allowing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to offer financial products and services, as advocated by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service in a January 2104 white paper. These activities would include loan making, deposit taking, and other services that are fundamental to community banks. USPS’s encroachment into these activities, as one of the largest federal agencies, would represent a major, government-sponsored, competitive threat to the ongoing viability of the nation’s thousands of private sector, tax-paying community banks that do an excellent job of serving consumers, small businesses and farmers and ranchers across America.
In an effort to soft-pedal this government advantaged competitive threat, USPS representatives have suggested they would work with the banking industry on the products and services they offer. The reality is that the USPS’s financial services would compete directly against community banks, would be offered through the nation’s largest banks, and would displace community banks in all regions of the country, including America’s most rural and remote areas.
The USPS’s fiscal problems should not become a misguided excuse to intrude into other unrelated industries. These financial difficulties should be a reason to oppose – not promote – expansion of the USPS so that their management remains focused on bringing the USPS to viability within its own industry.
Additionally, the USPS’s electronic systems were recently hacked by the Chinese government. This suggests that American citizens would be at greater risk when using the USPS for financial transactions. Foreign governments are more prone to attack large federal agencies than small community banks, which are subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s data-security standards.