Is Postal Banking Already Legal? Yes.

Matthew Yglesias • Slate • January 29, 2014

Many countries (including at one point the United States of America) do something called “postal banking” where, essentially, the local postal service offers some simple and basic financial services to the population.

Bringing a postal bank to the United States would basically address two issues. One is that it would create a kind of “public option” for simple banking services and perhaps drive check-cashing and payday-lending joints out of business. The other is that it would create an additional revenue stream for the USPS and specifically a revenue stream that would justify holding on to all its real-estate assets so they could serve as branches.

To me the public option part of the argument has always made more sense than the “Save the Postal Service” part of it. But a new white paper from the USPS inspector general alters that calculus in my view by arguing that the USPS already has statutory authority to do postal banking.

Read the entire article here.

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