The United States Postal Service is currently facing a very tough financial situation. Losses are piling on and could reach $14.1 billion for fiscal year 2012. Drastic decisions must therefore be made to ensure the viability of the Post. Most of the focus is currently placed on slashing costs, by closing post offices, reducing the workforce (155,000 jobs could be cut in the next 4 years) or cutting on the service (for example by going from 6-day to 5-day delivery).
Others are pushing for the USPS to expand into other services, such as electronic or financial services. From 1911 to 1967, a postal bank has already been operating in the US. Various articles (here, here, or here) have been published in recent months to lobby for the USPS to expand its financial services offering. In a country where more than one quarter of all households are unbanked or underbanked (FDIC, 2009), this could be an interesting proposal. However this project faces strong opposition, the arguments being that the postal staff doesn’t have the capacity to offer financial products or that the Post would bring unfair competition to private banks. What do you think? Post your comments below!