Canadian banks made $31.7 billion in profits last year yet banking fees continue to rise. Predatory payday lenders routinely charge as much as 600% interest on small loans, sometimes more, with poor, marginalized, rural and Indigenous communities the most affected.
Over 1,700 bank branches have closed in recent years and now payday lenders are many Canadians’\ only option. We’re being gouged from every angle so that banks and lenders can maximize their profits. But there is an alternative just underneath our noses: postal banking.
A public bank system governed by Canada Post is a “win-win”: it would provide financial services to Canadians who normally have to rely on predatory lenders while earning significant revenue for a Crown corporation without prohibitive fees.
Tell Justin Trudeau’s government you want it to put postal banking on the table.
It’s been a long time since Canada’s banks weren’t just for the wealthy. The Panama Papers revealed explosive connections between RBC and tax avoidance -- while the rest of us pay huge fees just to access our own money.
Worse, as banks increasingly cater to the world’s super-rich, payday lenders have stepped up to fill the gap -- with brutal, cripling interest rates so unfair even the United States has started to clampdown.
This isn’t magical thinking. Canada had a postal bank as recently as 1968 -- and evidence from around the world shows postal banking is a proven moneymaker. And not only would postal banking, accessible anywhere there is a post office, offer a public alternative to payday loans -- it would also make the banking sector more competitive. The Canadian banking sector is one of the most concentrated in the world, where just three corporations control over 60% of all banking assets.
We can do better. Tell Canada to strike a blow against predatory banks and lenders and consider postal banking.