© Photo special to The Guardian
Editor: The December 11 announcement by Canada Post to end door-to-door mail delivery and increase prices is supposed to be a way for the crown corporation to save money due to a drop in letter mail volumes. There is no doubt that letter mail volumes are down due to advances in technology but is cutting services and increasing prices the answer? Or would service expansion such as postal banking be a better way to save our post office.
Postal banking has worked in other countries, such as Italy, France, Switzerland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. These postal banks generate anywhere from 25 to 71 per cent of profits to their post offices, which are all publicly owned.
Imagine full banking services at your post office. Bank fees are increasing and interest rates are very high, especially for people with poor credit. The proposed postal bank could offer more affordable options for Islanders, while being easily accessible in every community. There are many communities right here in P.E.I. where there is a post office, but no bank.
There are many options that could be explored to create a postal bank. Whether it is a fully chartered bank, completely publicly owned, or a partnership with an existing bank or credit union. Canada Post has shown that it has the expertise to expand some services, such as e-post and parcel delivery, so why not at least look into postal banking? If companies such as Canadian Tire, Walmart and Superstore (PC Financial) can implement banking institutions than surely Canada Post should be able to find a way. In doing so, they could save jobs in our communities, make banking more affordable for Canadians, and save Canada Post.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers,