House members urge finance subcommittee leaders to support postal banking pilot project
Several members of the United States House of Representatives are seeking to expand the Postal Banking Pilot Programs, an initiative designed to expand banking services to underbanked Americans while revitalizing the postal service.
A group of 33 lawmakers, led by Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), sent a letter to leaders of the Subcommittee on the Chamber of Financial Services and Public Administrations seeking support for these pilot programs.
“We are writing to urge you to include the language below supporting the Non-Bank Postal Financial Services Pilot Programs in the FY2022 Internal Financial Services and General Public Appropriations (FSGG) Bill (FY22). ). These pilot programs would help Americans, especially people of color, without access to traditional financial services, ”the lawmakers wrote.
Millions of Americans live in an area without immediate access to a brick and mortar bank. In a 2017 study, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that some 63 million adults are considered underbanked. He found that 90 percent of postal codes without a bank or credit union are in rural areas. Bank branches are also rare in low-income urban communities. Lawmakers have said that about 46 percent of Latin American households and 49 percent of African American households are underbanked.
In addition, reports from the Office of the Inspector General of the USPS revealed that the Postal Service is well positioned to bring basic non-bank financial services to underbanked communities. This pilot program would establish expanded banking and financial services at post offices.
“The pandemic once again underscored the deep commitment of postal workers to serving our communities. But we know that millions of people still do not have access to affordable and reliable financial services. The time has come to expand postal financial services, and the pilot projects called for in this letter are a crucial first step. Postal workers look forward to this important way to better serve the public, ”said American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein.
The expansion of postal banking services is endorsed by many organizations, including the American Postal Workers Union, Save the Post Office Coalition, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, Consumer Action, Communications Workers of America, SEIU, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Center for Popular Democracy, Patriotic Millionaires, Take on Wall Street, Sierra Club, Common Cause, Americans for Financial Reform, Social Security Works, Alliance for Retired Americans and National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), among others.
“Piloting non-bank financial services at the post office would save working families in these communities thousands of dollars and bring in over $ 1 billion in revenue for the postal service each year,” said Porter McConnell. of the Save the Post Office Coalition. .