Gillibrand, Sanders Introduce Postal Banking Act to Provide Financial Services to Underbanked Americans – Oswego County Today
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced the Postal Banking Act, legislation that would reinstate postal banking to provide financial security to millions of low-income Americans. and rural communities.
The Postal Banking Act would strengthen the postal service by creating a nonprofit bank offering low-cost checking and savings accounts, ATMs, mobile banking, and low-interest loans.
At the same time, Gillibrand released an original report, “Postal Banking: Delivering For The American People”, showing that:
At least 1.5 million New York households and more than 25 million households nationwide are expected to benefit from postal banking services.
Postal banking could generate nearly $19 billion in annual revenue for the United States Postal Service.
More than 46 million adults do not have their needs met by our current banking system, with factors such as lack of proximity to a local bank branch and a lack of trust in banks pushing the unbanked towards financial products risky and often predatory alternatives.
“As our economy recovers from the pandemic, it is essential that every American has access to financially secure and reliable banking services,” said Senator Gillibrand. “However, more than 46 million Americans do not have their needs met by our current banking system and often fall prey to predatory lenders who take advantage of them with high fees and interest rates. The Postal Banking Act is a simple solution to a complex problem: it would provide basic financial services at post offices in rural and urban communities, while simultaneously generating nearly $19 billion a year for the USPS. Simply put: postal banking delivers.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that nearly 50 million people in this country are unbanked or underbanked,” Senator Sanders said. “What does this mean? It means millions of workers across the country lack access to basic banking and financial services. It means workers across the country are forced to face hardships. unnecessary hurdles at important times, such as buying a home, starting a business, or saving to send their kids to college.This means workers across the country are too often forced to relying on predatory lenders. This needs to change. Now is the time to put loan sharks out of business and ensure affordable banking options for all Americans through the United States Postal Service. And that’s exactly what our legislation.
“All Americans deserve access to affordable banking and financial services. Postal Banking is an essential tool in bringing access to the financial system to all Americans. We applaud all members of Congress who, like Senator Gillibrand and Senator Sanders, are working together to find solutions to this problem,” said American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein.
The Postal Service employs more than 600,000 workers, including nearly 70,000 veterinarians, and millions of Americans depend on it to deliver their paychecks, prescriptions and votes. Unfortunately, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy imposed destructive changes that slowed the mail and compromised services for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors and families who depend on the mail for medications, essential goods, voting, correspondence and income.
The Postal Banking Act would strengthen the postal service by creating a nonprofit bank offering low-cost checking and savings accounts, ATMs, mobile banking, and low-interest loans. Using a method derived from the USPS Office of Inspector General, the report concludes that this proposal could create nearly $19 billion in revenue for the Postal Service each year. Postal banking would provide financial services to Americans economically devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Predatory financial services and practices such as prepaid debit cards, rent-to-own stores and overdraft fees often exploit the most vulnerable populations – including low-income households, rural communities, elderly combatants and the families of active duty personnel – especially in times of economic crisis. crisis. Instead of turning to these predatory services, families would have access to traditional basic banking services and safe financial alternatives through postal banking.
The legislation has been endorsed by Alliance for Retired Americans, American Family Voices, Center for Popular Democracy, Color of Change, Family Farm Defenders, Farm Aid, Indivisible, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, MoveOn, NETWORK Lobby Catholics for Social Justice, Our Revolution, and Paragon in Florida.