As the fortunes of the U.S. Post Office seem to be sinking farther and farther down on the horizon, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is proposing a new role for it – The United States Post Office doubling as a financial services bank – cashing checks, paying bills and floating “bridge” loans.
It’s an idea that has been kicked around for many years in the U.S. and which is quite common in other countries: Banking services – intially for mainly low or moderate income citizens. But eventually it could attract others who want a “public” rather than “private” banking experience. Especially for those who want to avoid high bank fees and loan rates.
Senator Warren is proposing that the nation’s neighborhood U.S. Post Offices provide check cashing, bill paying and short term loans to tide over those of low income which research shows pays an average of a full month’s wages every year for such services – dinged by short-term loan outfits that typically charge sky high interest rates and a large percentage of any check they cash. Research shows that such “fees and penalties” amount to a month’s food bill for every family that has to resort to such financial services.
Senator Warren wants the federal government to make those services available at the post office, which, by the way, needs a financial shot in the arm itself but not so much that it harms the low income and temporarily financially stressed.
The story is in the Huffington Post. Click here.