Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Richmond (LA-02) introduced a bill that would expand access to basic financial services to millions of Americans and provide a venerable and struggling American institution an opportunity to generate billions of dollars in revenue.
“In the New Orleans area alone, 181,000 households do not have access to a full range of financial services,” said Rep. Richmond. “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 Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions and Lending Act – or the POSTAL Act – would allow the United States Postal Service to offer basic financial services. Post office customers would be able to open checking accounts, deposit funds in an interest-bearing savings account, and receive small-dollar loans. The bill would also require that the Postal Service offer customers a convenient “Postal Card” that functions as a debit card and allows them to engage in in-store, mobile, and online transactions.
In January, the office of the Inspector General of the USPS released a report outlining the benefits of postal financial services for the public, the financial services industry and the USPS. Today, Rep. Richmond answered the call for reform that will help bring Americans out of poverty, improve economic mobility, help the USPS generate revenue.
The POSTAL Act is supported by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the national labor union of city delivery letter carriers employed by the United States Postal Service.