Republican senators denounce postal banking pilot

A group of 19 Senate Republicans led by Sen. John Boozman (Ark.) denounced an ICBA-opposed U.S. Postal Service pilot program to test postal banking.

Letter: In a joint letter, the lawmakers said the pilot program:

  • Exceeds the Postal Service’s legal authority.

  • Fails to comply with relevant regulations.

  • Diverts resources away from the core USPS function of mail delivery.

  • Advances the misguided USPS expansion into government banking.

Pilot: The USPS quietly launched the pilot in September to offer check cashing, bill paying, ATM access, and expanded money orders and wire transfers in Washington, D.C.; Falls Church, Va.; Baltimore; and the Bronx, New York.

Results: The American Prospect reported last week that no one has used the service at the Bronx location, with the Cato Institute saying the pilot does not address why unbanked individuals choose not to have a bank account.

ICBA Position: ICBA—which has spoken out against the pilot via NBC News, The Washington Post, and the Washington Examiner—strongly opposes postal banking. A three-part series of ICBA issue briefs explores the policy’s flaws and offers alternatives for reaching the unbanked.