February 06, 2014

Postal bill revised to include 'products'

Feb. 7, 2014 – A Senate committee approved a postal service reform bill Thursday after adding a section that could accommodate language for new services being offered in the future.

The bill, S. 1486, doesn't specify that financial services could be in the mix. Instead, it says any such products should use the USPS's existing processing and distribution network, be in the public interest, answer a likely public demand and not create unfair competition with the private sector.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and others earlier this week embraced a suggestion in an inspector general report that the USPS could offer limited financial services to underbanked persons as a way to generate more income.

Carrie Hunt, NAFCU's senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel, said consumers are best served by institutions that can offer a full range of financial services and establish relationships with them, as credit unions do.

NAFCU will monitor progress on S. 1486 for any potential impact on credit unions. The bill was marked up and approved Thursday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It awaits action by the full Senate.