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Press Release Published: Oct 22, 2021

USPS’ Financial Services Pilot Program was Hidden from Congress and Raises Serious Questions

Ranking Members Comer, McHenry request an immediate briefing and background information on USPS’s new paycheck-cashing services.

WASHINGTONToday, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wrote a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy expressing their concerns regarding a United States Postal Service (USPS) pilot program offering paycheck-cashing services at several East Coast locations. Not only does USPS lack the statutory authority to expand its non-postal services without congressional approval, but USPS has neglected to share information about this pilot program with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the House Committee on Financial Services, and other stakeholders in Congress. USPS’s plans to become involved in financial services is a significant deviation from what USPS communicated to Congress in public and in private. 

“During the lengthy negotiations, you never once raised the Postal Service’s intention to expand into banking services. The Postal Service’s 60-page reform plan, called ‘Delivering for America: Our Vision and Ten-Year Plan to Achieve Financial Sustainability and Service Excellence,’ similarly omits any reference to postal banking. Again, on February 24, 2021, when you testified before the Committee at a hearing entitled ‘Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on Sustainable Financial Footing,’ you never mentioned the prospect that the Postal Service might veer into the financial services industry,” wrote the lawmakers.  

“Last year, the Postal Service incurred a net loss of $9.2 billion. This is consistent with a trend of losses that aggregate to more than $87 billion over the past 14 fiscal years. Beyond the Postal Service’s balance sheet—which is in and of itself disqualifying for an expansion into financial services—there are other reasons to be concerned. For instance, a massive cybersecurity breach exposed social security numbers and other sensitive data for millions of USPS customers and employees. The Office of Inspector General found USPS operates with insufficient controls to combat money laundering schemes. It is unclear why the Postal Service believes itself to be ready for the added responsibility of offering expanded financial services,” concluded the lawmakers.  

In order to better understand the expansion of the Postal Service’s offerings into financial services, the lawmakers are requesting an immediate briefing and any information into the planning and implementation of the new program. 

Read the full Letter to Postmaster General DeJoy here