The U.S. Postal Service wants to become your banker. The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are opposed to the idea. The organization sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee pointing out that the Postal Service is not able to do the job it is supposed to do in a profitable manner.
In FY 2016, in their 10th consecutive year of losses, they lost $5.6 billion. The service is $121 billion in debt. Financial services are best provided in a competitive, private, and free marketplace so they can openly and efficiently benefit customers, stated the ICBA.
The ICBA called on the Treasury Department to recommend prohibiting the expansion into banking services at the U.S. Postal Service. The organization sent a letter to President Donald Trump’s special task force on postal reform to include the recommendation in its review of the Postal Service. It follows an earlier letter to the Treasury from House Financial Services Committee Vice Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) noting that Congress in 2006 barred the Postal Service from offering new, non-postal services.
“The Postal Service’s inability to manage its own primary business of selling postage and delivering mail suggests it is ill-equipped to handle any banking function,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey wrote.
Financial services are best provided by banks, said the ICBA. According to the FDIC, 88 percent of banks offer small-dollar loans and 81 percent offer free counseling to underserved consumers. Community bank professionals are educated, trained and experienced in the many and often complex facets of banking, which would not be the case at the Postal Service.
The Postal Service has roughly $121 billion in unfunded liabilities worth 169 percent of its 2016 revenues, experienced a massive 2014 data breach affecting nearly 1 million customers, and was audited for having insufficient fraud controls. Entering the struggling enterprise into banking would place taxpayers at risk of having to subsidize or rescue it.