[Ed. – This puts the taxpayer on the hook for high-risk banking, without the intermediary of services designed to cater to higher-risk clientele, which approach it with the necessary application of risk-covering fees and interest rates. It also sinks the claws of political-constituency banking into the commercial banking system, a guaranteed way to dilute the integrity of the system for the low-risk customer. It will vastly increase the contentiousness of all political questions about banking, lending, and post-office services: everything will become your problem. You will no longer be buffered by a network of voluntary financial actors from the high-risk banking sector. It’s designed to come after your bank balance through the back door.]
California stands out as a logical place to potentially test and refine the postal banking concept. In recent years, the state has become an epicenter of the burgeoning public banking movement in the United States and is home to a large and powerful grassroots public banking coalition, the California Public Banking Alliance (CPBA), for which one of us, Jeff Olson, is an organizer.
In 2019, the alliance was instrumental in securing state legislative passage of AB 857, which enables the creation of up to 10 local or regional public banks in the state. The APWU was among hundreds of labor, environmental, political and community groups (representing millions of state residents) that endorsed AB 857, and for their part, the alliance has expressed interest in advancing postal banking in the state as part of their larger campaign for public banking.