WASHINGTON (1/29/14)--The Credit Union National Association has strong reservations about the U.S. Postal Service's potential move to provide financial services to underserved communities, and questions why the postal service would step into such a role.
The CUNA comments follow this week's release of a USPS Inspector General white paper which noted that "postal financial services may appeal to many customers who feel abandoned by major financial institutions." The USPS paper noted that many international postal service providers are already garnering significant new revenue through providing financial services. Providing such services could bring in $8.9 billion per year in new revenues, according to the white paper.
CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard said some credit unions would be happy to explore possible creative partnerships with USPS or anyone else who can help bring financial services to more people at less cost. "But, to the extent that the goal here is more profit for USPS, there could be some problems," he said.
"The field of financial services is already extremely crowded and competitive, and credit unions already provide a cooperative, not-for-profit alternative that benefits consumers, including many who would otherwise be unbanked. This is not an area in which there is a lot of low-hanging fruit that others have not picked," Richard noted.
For the full USPS white paper, use the resource link.