Banking On A Future For Canada Post

  

Major Report Says Postal Banking Feasible at Canada Post

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) published a major report which examines the feasibility of adding financial and banking services at Canada Post Corporation. The report, entitled, Why Canada Needs Postal Banking, provides compelling evidence that Canada Post is well placed to fulfill the need for improved financial and banking services.  

Nearly 2/3 of Canadians Smile on Postal Banking  

OTTAWA –  April 29, 2014 – Sixty-four percent of respondents support new revenue-generating services at Canada Post, including financial services, finds a new poll.

The poll results are drawn from a Stratcom national online survey which interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,512 randomly selected adult Canadians between April 9th and April 10th, 2014.

This announcement comes on the heels of a symposium on the feasibility of postal banking in Canada, hosted by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) on April 26 and 27. International guests from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France and Italy shared success stories of the financial services that help keep their public postal services viable.

Representatives from the United States described how postal banking is also being explored as an option for their postal service, saying it could keep good public services viable and maintain thousands of needed jobs.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ John Anderson told the symposium there is ample evidence of the viability of banking services at post offices. He said what is needed now is a task force to investigate how it may best work in Canada.

“It works! We see the proof around the globe,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President, “Yet Deepak Chopra hides Canada Post’s own study on postal banking, and chooses instead to offer people less service for more money. We want Canada Post to show us the secret study which, although heavily redacted, appears to support our call for financial and banking services at Canada Post.”

Check out our postal banking campaign and other campaigns:     PublicPostOffice.

 Symposium Shows Postal Banking A Win-Win Strategy For Canada

CUPW hosted a symposium this past weekend to explore the issue of postal banking. We heard from national and international speakers that postal banking is a viable option for Canada Post, postal workers and the public.  CUPW released a new poll at the symposium showing that almost 2/3 of the public support postal banking.

There Is A Need:    Private sector banks have focused on wealthy clients while abandoning vast swaths of the population. “They [banks] have shown interest in abandoning ordinary Canadians lower down on the income scale,” said prominent journalist and author, Linda McQuaig, at the symposium. They have closed down 22% of branches, primarily in rural and lower to middle class areas.

McQuaig pointed to the approximately 900,000 Canadians are unbanked (i.e. have no account), while others are underbanked. This has resulted in many people using pay-day lenders such as Money Mart, which charge extremely high interest rates.

“Postal banking has the potential to strengthen public institutions and postal service AND give Canadians access to a public system in the area of banking,” said McQuaig.

 A Postal Bank Could Work Well:     There are many reasons a postal bank would work well in Canada, according to John Anderson, author of a recent CCPA report on the subject: 

  1. There are many examples of successful postal banks worldwide.
  2. Canada had a successful postal bank until 1968.
  3. Banking is a very profitable industry and millions of Canadians are not well-served by our banking services.
  4. Canada Post has the infrastructure and work force to deliver postal banking.

 A Postal Bank Could Help Keep Canada Post Profitable:     Many postal banks are extremely profitable. “Around the world, many of the countries which I’ve looked at, postal banking contributes a large amount to the total profits of the banking systems in these countries,” said Anderson. In some countries, the postal bank contributes 70% of the revenue of the postal service overall.

 Postal Banks Play A Social Role:     Many of the international postal banks also play an important social role. The Kiwi Bank in New Zealand permits multiple income earners on a single mortgage. They also provide mortgages for houses, not the land, to Aboriginal Maoris who own land communally. The French Banque Postale offers basic bank accounts to anyone.

 Find Out More!    You can download the presentations and watch a video of the conference at: http://cupw.ca/multimedia/bpb2014/index.html.

 Act Now!     Tell your Member of Parliament you’re Banking on a Future for Canada Post: http://www.publicpostoffice.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/14885/la_id/1.

****May 1, 2014 Bulletin -  posted Wednesday May 14, 2014

Postal Workers to Canada Post: Turn It Around By Creating New and Better Services

OTTAWA -  May 5, 2014  – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is stepping up its campaign for better postal services and innovations such as postal banking in the wake of Canada Post’s latest annual report.

“Our postal system is a valuable public service available to all who live in this country and that’s how it should stay. We need to believe in its future and help it grow, not kill another public service with cutbacks that will drive customers away,” said Denis Lemelin, National President of CUPW.

An international symposium recently held in Ottawa discussed the possibility of bringing back the postal bank in Canada, which had flourished from the days of Confederation to the late 1960s. A Stratcom poll in April 2014 showed that 64% of respondents supported the idea of a postal bank. Canada Post had also been looking at the idea but refuses to release the results of its postal banking study for public review.

“Canada Post shouldn’t be engaging in a planned demolition of public postal service,” said Lemelin. “This annual report is a clear sign that the present managers of Canada Post need to rethink their plans.”

 cupw.ca/bpb2014/

                                                                                                                  

On October 9th, 2013  the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) published a major report which examines the feasibility of adding financial and banking services at Canada Post Corporation. The report, entitled, Why Canada Needs Postal Banking, provides compelling evidence that Canada Post is well placed to fulfill the need for improved financial and banking services.  

The CCPA study looks at the changing banking environment as well as our post office’s own experience with banking. In addition, it reviews the status of postal banking around the world, highlighting five successful models in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland and New Zealand. CUPW has done its own research concerning international postal banking but decided to ask for an independent perspective concerning the feasibility of initiating banking and financial services at Canada Post. As a result, we commissioned this study by the CCPA.

Having established that there is a need for improved financial services in our country and that there are viable models in other countries, the study concludes by suggesting five possible models for postal banking in Canada:

  1. Create a non-chartered bank — a Canada Post-owned subsidiary — to deliver financial services.

  2. Create a chartered bank wholly owned by Canada Post.

  3. Create a bank to deliver some of the services and partner with banks and others to deliver the rest.

  4. Create a national credit union or mutual to deliver the financial services in partnership with Canada Post.

  5. Partner directly with one or more financial institution to deliver financial and banking services.  

The report concludes by recommending that the federal government and Canada Post immediately establish a task force to determine how to deliver new financial services, and establish priorities for delivering new products. The report was written by John Anderson. As former director of Parliamentary Affairs for the NDP federal caucus and former director of government affairs and public policy at the Canadian Cooperative Association, Anderson has excellent credentials to research and analyze issues concerning financial and banking services.    

You can find the entire report on the internet at:

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/why-canada-needs-postal-banking

 


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