Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Postal banking bill introduced in House

On July 15, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced the Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions and Lending Act (POSTAL) Act, H.R. 5179, to allow USPS to offer basic financial services, including checking accounts, interest-bearing savings accounts and money transfers, and to allow the Postal Service to partner with private banks to offer these services. In addition, the legislation would create a “Postal Card” that would serve as a debit card for postal banking customers.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), nearly 68 million adults either do not have access to basic banking options or have access to limited services, a situation that often leads them to use payday lenders who can charge exorbitant interest rates.

“In the New Orleans area alone,” Richmond said, “181,000 households do not have access to a full range of financial services. These are primarily low-income households that are forced to pay exorbitant interest rates to predatory lenders in order to borrow. Allowing the Post Office to offer some basic financial services would save these households thousands of dollars every year, and put the USPS on more stable financial footing.”

“The NALC appreciates the efforts of members like Rep. Cedric Richmond, who are thinking outside of the box by seeking alternative ways for the Postal Service to serve the public that serve to strengthen the agency,” President Rolando said. “We think this legislation is a positive first step in finding that balance.”

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