Comment 95412

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted December 02, 2013 at 14:13:40 in reply to Comment 95411

In the UK and France (at least), the post office runs a banking service in addition to mail and parcel delivery. They leverage their network of post offices and website to provide the banking services. Because they are publicly owned (for now), they have a mandate to provide service to all at reasonable prices. They often also provide banking services to community organizations and specialize in government-backed savings programs and loans. The bill payment service run by Canada Post is a form of financial service.

As the article points out, a government-run service would fill an obvious gap in the market that is now being filled by pay-day loan organizations, at great cost to their customers. It could also broaden the role of Canada Post.

Part of the problem in Canada is that the post office has already shut down most of its own post offices, and it is hard to imagine banking services being run at the post office counters in corner stores and pharmacies!

The French Banque Postale has a good summary of its mission at

"Second major challenge: the individual risk of banking exclusion, increased further by a tense and unstable economic environment. To meet this challenge, we are receptive to all customers, regardless of their financial situation: we are the only bank that is recognised in law to have a mission to increase access to banking for everyone and to prevent the risk of overindebtedness. In 2012, together with eight major associations, we set up a think tank initiative to combat banking exclusion.

Third challenge: the difficulties encountered by an increasing number of low-income households to access home ownership. We have set up a dedicated unit for access to social home ownership: in partnership with stakeholders in social housing, we are developing innovative acquisition solutions, backed up by safety nets for borrowers.

Fourth challenge: unequal opportunity which often penalises young people from low-income urban and rural households. We set up L’Envol, La Banque Postale’s campus, to identify talented young students and to access high-level education. "

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-12-02 14:29:24

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