Washington, D.C. (Aug. 24, 2020)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today called on the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission to investigate reports that the U.S. Postal Service is considering an exclusive agreement with JPMorgan Chase to provide banking services through the postal branch network.
In a letter to commission Chairman Robert G. Taub, ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey called for a transparent process, noting that JPMorgan Chase has a record of discriminatory consumer practices that could threaten local communities. Specifically, the agency should follow federal regulations and issue a request for proposal before proceeding, she wrote.
"Any exclusive arrangement, negotiated behind closed doors, to allow a profit-driven entity to leverage the USPS branch network is a formula for corruption and should be a serious concern to all Americans who care about the integrity of our public institutions," Romero Rainey wrote. "If USPS is considering creating exclusive access to their network, it should do so through a transparent and fully competitive process."
Romero Rainey noted that while any arrangement with JPMorgan Chase would threaten local communities by drawing deposits away from them to be invested elsewhere, the nation’s 52,000 community bank locations have greater penetration in unbanked populations than the postal branch network. In fact, community banks outnumber large banks, post offices and credit unions in low-income or distressed communities by a 2-1 margin.
ICBA will continue encouraging the commission and all relevant policymakers to ensure transparency and accountability as these discussions continue.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.
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