APWU President Mark Dimondstein: The recent bank crisis set off by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has exposed a reality about how U.S. banking really works. The system’s very existence — for example, insuring deposits, loan guarantees and setting interest rates — depends entirely on the federal government.
Since the government is already in the business of supporting the banking system, the people ought to demand a system that is designed to better serve the public interest and the common good. Any debate about the future of banking in the United States should first take a page from the history of postal banking.
During its 55-year existence, beginning in 1910 by an act of Congress, the U.S. Postal Savings System became one of the largest depository institutions in the country. It served as a safe harbor during the Great Depression and provided simple and reliable basic banking services, especially in rural communities.
Postal banking as an essential public service is an old idea whose time has come again.
Read more: The bank crisis is the latest argument to expand Postal Service banking