Post Office Financial Services Could Help Traditionally Under-Banked Residents
Monday, February 22, 2021
BOSTON -- Advocates for postal banking contend having more financial services accessible at U.S. Postal Service locations could help the nation make a more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis.
More than 12 million people, or 6% of American adults, don't have a bank account. Another 16% are "under-banked," who have a bank account but also use money orders, check-cashing services, payday loans or tax credit advances.
Porter McConnell, campaign director for Take on Wall Street, said these alternative financial services often can be predatory, or charge exorbitantly high rates. She argued postal banking could fill a crucial gap.
"It's infrastructure that's already there," McConnell pointed out. "It's a very skilled workforce. And the universal service mandate of the post office means that everybody gets to be served by the post office. "
Statistics show 14% of Black residents and 11% of Latino residents are unbanked, compared with just 4% of Caucasian residents.
McConnell noted big Wall Street banks often have closed branches in rural or low-income communities, leaving behind banking deserts.
McConnell thinks the prospects for implementing postal banking in the U.S. are better than ever. It was included in the Democratic Party platform last year, as well as a draft of the CARES Act, and President Joe Biden has indicated his support.
"There's a lot of underbanked and unbanked communities in the middle of Boston, and there's a lot of unbanked or underbanked communities out in the hill country in western Massachusetts," McConnell outlined. "And so, what's great about it is that it serves both of those communities really well."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, are among the supporters of postal banking in Congress.
Warren has said it could also help the U.S. Postal Service find its own financial footing. The agency has lost $69 billion in the last decade, according to the Government Accountability Office.
get more stories like this via email
DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …
HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …
SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …
Health and Wellness
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …
BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …
BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…
INDIANAPOLIS -- As finding a career becomes more difficult for young people, a new report said the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach to …