News Release

JPMorgan: Apparently Misused PPP Funds * Meeting with DeJoy to Head Off Postal Banking


Reuters is reporting “JPMorgan Probing Alleged Misuse of PPP Funds by Employees, Memo Shows.”

Last month, The American Banker reported: “JPMorgan Chase in Talks to Offer Services in Post Offices: Report.”

PORTER McCONNELL, via Carter Dougherty, carter at, @RealBankReform
McConnell is Take on Wall Street campaign director at Americans for Financial Reform.

She said today: “Apart from politically motivated attacks on the Postal Service before the election, there’s another malevolent force at work on this important institution: Wall Street. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is in talks with JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, on an exclusive contract to put that private bank’s branches inside post offices. At the same time, JPMorgan employees appear to have misused aid intended as relief for small businesses during the pandemic.

“JPMorgan and DeJoy are trying to head off rising support for what is known as ‘postal banking’ — a plan to revive the post office as a place where people can go to get low-cost, non-predatory banking services. (One version of this plan would have the Federal Reserve provide the accounts through its infrastructure, while ordinary people access them through postal branches.) This plan has won support from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, his top rival in the primaries.

“One in four U.S. households are either unbanked or underbanked. That’s an astonishing number. Even before the pandemic, bank branches were closing across the country, creating more rural and urban ‘banking deserts’ and ATM fees are as high as $7.50 in some places. These households are unbanked or underbanked because traditional banks like JP Morgan Chase don’t want low-income customers. A postal banking system would create a universal option for banking while leaving private banks to offer the services they choose.

“We should treat the U.S. Postal Service as a service, not a business, and certainly not a plaything of Wall Street. We should roll back all of the artificial barriers that hamper the Postal Service — notably the requirement that it break even, which creates pressure for it to close rural branches, cut service hours, and limit delivery, as well as raise prices.

“Instead, the Post Office can be a local hub for services. They already provide money orders and manage passport applications. What if they could provide everything from basic bank accounts to remittances to fishing licenses? We could join our OECD peers, and indeed most nations around the globe, in using the over 30,000 post offices around the country to provide the bricks-and-mortar infrastructure needed to serve every community in the digital age.

“There is nothing inevitable about letting the USPS atrophy. Why not instead invest in a national treasure with a storied past, and turn it into a practical tool to reduce inequalities, geographic or otherwise? Let’s lead with what works for people, not Wall Street.”