JPMorgan Chase may be expanding its banking services into new territory: USPS locations.
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The banking giant is in talks about a potential program to offer banking services – like ATM access – on premises at USPS locations, a spokesperson for the company confirmed in an emailed statement to FOX Business on Wednesday.
The discussions centered on JPMorgan potentially leasing a small number of spaces for ATMs to better serve specific communities, which would serve the secondary purpose of providing revenue to the ailing agency.
The spokesperson called the conversations "very preliminary" and added that there were no imminent plans to move forward.
A spokesperson for USPS reiterated that its core function was mail delivery not banking.
“To the extent our research concludes that we can legally provide additional services at a profit and without distracting from our core business, we would consider these,” the spokesperson said. “However, public policy and regulatory discussions must be addressed before the Postal Service invests in an area outside our core function.”
In the third quarter, USPS reported “significant declines” in mail volumes as it recorded a net loss of $2.2 billion.
While postal banking is a popular proposal among some progressive Democrats – like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – those plans differ from JPMorgan’s reported pilot program.
Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders have advocated for a system whereby the Post Office would be authorized to provide financial services as a way to provide banking opportunities to rural and low-income communities.
Some of the proposed services a postal banking system could offer include low-interest loans, checking and savings accounts, debit cards, check cashing, bill payment, ATM services, online banking services and electronic money transfers. The measure was framed as a way to prevent lower-income Americans from falling victim to predatory payday lending practices – and from having to rely on Wall Street’s largest institutions.
Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department came out against a postal banking option.
Currently, people can go to the post office for money orders. In the past, the agency offered Americans the options of opening savings accounts – but that policy ended in the late-1960s.