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Available Expert - Canada Post and postal banking

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Queen's University labour historian Christo Aivalis is available to comment on proposals by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to offer banking services at Canada Post locations. The union claims such service offerings would assist underserved small communities, offer an alternative to payday loan services and help the crown corporation boost revenue as letter volume continues to decline. While Canada Post itself has said little about getting into banking, the Canadian Bankers Association has come out strongly against the concept.

"The discussion about postal banking is happening for a couple reasons," says Dr. Aivalis. "First, the threat of a lockout still looms, though it has declined as negotiations continue. The move is  tactical because CUPW wants to demonstrate that they aren't simply rejecting employer proposals to make Canada Post better - they're offering their own model. It is also interesting because in recent days, representatives of Canada's largest banking institutions have come out against the idea of postal banking, due at least in part because they fear the competition such a service might provide Canadians."

Dr. Aivalis says that the idea of postal banking deserves at least consideration by the government, and should form an integral part of the crown corporation's review. Specifically, that postal banking could provide bank access to rural and isolated communities and offering financial services to poor and marginalized Canadians.

Dr. Christo Aivals is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at Queen's University with a research focus on Canadian political and labour history. He is currently located in Ottawa, Ont. and is available for print and radio interviews by phone.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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