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Friday, July 25, 2014

Bill Would Let Post Offices Offer Deposit Accounts

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) introduced a bill that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to provide an expanded range of financial products — including checking accounts, interest-bearing savings accounts, small-dollar loans, debit cards and international money transfers.

In addition to these products, which are explicitly mentioned in the bill, Richmond would allow USPS to offer “such other basic financial services as the Postal Service determines appropriate in the public interest.” ABA EVP Ken Clayton said:

Serving the unbanked is a top priority for banks, which are reaching more and more people with innovative products and services. At the same time, we’re concerned about possibly creating a new entity engaged in banking services, but not subject to the same level of regulation. This new entity could be perceived by many as a government-endorsed and preferred provider of financial products. The impact on banks — particularly community banks — would be substantial.

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