Read full article on Ellen Browns Blog Web of Debt
September 23, 2013 by Ellen Brown
The Unbanked and Underbanked: A Massive Untapped Market
The “unbanked” are not a small segment of the population. In a 2011 survey, the unbanked and underbanked included about one in four households. Without access to conventional financial services, people turn to an expensive alternative banking market of bill-pay, prepaid debit cards, check cashing services, and payday loans. They pay excessive fees and are susceptible to high-cost predatory lenders.
Globally, postal banks are major contributors to financial inclusion. Catering to this underserved population is a revenue-generator for the post office while saving the underbanked large sums in fees. Worldwide, according to the Universal Postal Union, 1 billion people now use the postal sector for savings and deposit accounts, and more than 1.5 billion take advantage of basic transactional services through the post. According to a Discussion Paper of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs:
The essential characteristic distinguishing postal financial services from the private banking sector is the obligation and capacity of the postal system to serve the entire spectrum of the national population, unlike conventional private banks which allocate their institutional resources to service the sectors of the population they deem most profitable.
Expanding to include postal financial services has been crucial in many countries to maintaining the profitability of their postal network. Maintaining post offices in some rural or low-income areas can be a losing proposition, so the postal service often cross-subsidizes with other activities to maintain its universal network. Public postal banks are profitable because their market is large and their costs are low. The infrastructure is already built and available, advertising costs are minimal, and government-owned banks do not reward their management with extravagant bonuses or commissions that drain profits away. Profits return to the government and the people.
Please visit the 'SPREAD THE WORD' section on our website. Everyone need to know, banking can be different and better.
Alex Templeton speaking at ECOBATE - UK - 2013
Councils should "bring local banks into being" so they can become "powerful partners" and promote economic, social and environmental benefits to their communities.Published on Mar 21, 2013 Speaking at the 2nd European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE) in Winchester, Alex Templeton, Director of the Farm Energy Project, explains how a disfunctional financial system has made it harder to lend to small businesses which in turn impacts communities.