Postal Savings Banks: Not Just a Bernie-Sanders Idea

by Paul-Martin Foss

Those who have been following the presidential campaign in the United States are undoubtedly familiar with the proposal by Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders to allow the United States Postal Service to offer banking services at its post office branches. What many are not familiar with is that this idea was already tried in the past and failed miserably, ending in 1967. As an independent federal agency that no longer receives appropriated funds and therefore tries to pretend that it is a private corporation. Yet it is run by a Presidentially-appointed board of governors that is responsible for all business decisions. The results are predictable. Costs are high, revenues are low, Post Offices are understaffed, customer service is lacking, and lines and wait times are often long. Ask anyone who has ever had to do business with both a bank and a Post Office which they would rather deal with and you’ll almost universally hear that it’s the bank.

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