OTTAWA—The reintroduction of postal banking in Canada would offer access to financial services not now available to many Canadians, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
According to the study, by independent researcher John Anderson, the traditional financial banking sector is not meeting the needs of all Canadians. There are many Canadians in large regions of the country not served by banking institutions and an estimated 3% to 15% of Canadians do not have a bank account.
“Canada Post has the largest network of retail outlets already in place across Canada. Offering postal financial services would allow the millions of Canadians without local bank branches or easy access to banking the access they need,” Anderson says.
Postal banking systems are proliferating around the world and are prominent in most developed countries. They have shown themselves capable of generating the additional income needed to preserve the postal system as traditional letter volumes decline.
The study looks at five successful postal banking models in industrialized countries with relevance to Canadian options (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, and New Zealand) and demonstrates how postal banking would succeed in Canada and help improve and stabilize Canada Post’s services and revenues.
“Canada’s postal system has a long history of delivering financial services. Canada Post currently delivers some products and could develop a full banking system by building on what already exists,” says Anderson.
“Canada Post financial services should offer new competitive products to all Canadians, but they could also make sure that there were special services offered to low-income and Aboriginal Canadians, who are underserved by the traditional banks.”
The study recommends that the federal government and Canada Post immediately establish a task force to determine how to deliver new financial services, and determine priorities for delivering new products.
Why Canada Needs Postal Banking is available on the CCPA website: http://policyalternatives.ca
For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.