Thursday, June 5, 2014

Support the post office offering basic banking services

From Credo Mobilize:

Predatory check-cashing and payday-lending companies have been exploiting working-class Americans for decades by charging outrageous fees and triple-digit interest rates. But now we have a chance to give the millions of Americans without access to affordable basic financial services a fair, publicly owned alternative to payday lenders and big banks. Senator Elizabeth Warren has an exciting new proposal that would allow post offices around the country to offer basic financial services like check cashing and bill paying.

As a student organizer in Chicago, I've seen the devastating effects of economic injustice firsthand -- and I want to be part of the solution. That's why I started my own campaign on, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Congress, says the following:
Millions of Americans lack access to affordable financial services like check cashing, bill paying and small loans. Please support Senator Warren’s postal banking proposal, which would allow the United States Postal Service to offer financial services at local post offices around the country.

According to study released in January by the United States Postal Service’s inspector general, 68 million Americans – nearly 1 in 4 households -- are underserved by banks and forced to rely on exploitative and wildly expensive payday lenders. Many of these people spend as much as $2,400 each year on inflated interest rates and unnecessary fees. Across the globe, countries like Japan, Germany and Kenya have had great success with postal banking. And for more than 50 years, post offices in the United States were also allowed to offer banking services. Despite the program’s widespread success, both at providing banking services and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the United States Postal Service, Congress ended the program in 1967.

Given the lack of access to affordable banking services currently experienced by tens of millions of Americans, Congress needs take immediate action to move forward Senator Warren’s proposal to bring a public option for financial services back to the United States. While there’s been a lot of buzz lately about Senator Warren’s postal banking proposal, it needs support in Congress to become law. By signing my petition you can help build that support and add real momentum to the fight for postal banking.

Thank you for your support.
Brianna Tong

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