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Who Killed Canada Post's Banking Study?

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SOURCE Canadian Union of Postal Workers

OTTAWA, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada Post Corporation (CPC) conducted a secret four-year study on postal banking, which seems to indicate that getting into financial services would be "a win-win strategy" and a "proven money-maker" for the corporation. CPC's research study was stopped cold in the fall of 2013, just before the post office announced a five-point plan of massive cuts and steep rate hikes.

Blacklock's Reporter obtained the internal report, including a management report entitled Banking: A Proven Diversification Strategy, through an Access to Information request. 701 of its 811 pages were redacted.

"Based on what we have learned so far," says Gayle Bossenberry, 1st National Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), "it seems the report was on track to confirm the recommendations of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), and vindicate what postal workers have been saying: there's a great potential here to keep the public postal service self-sufficient. But instead they killed the research and buried the report."

Other countries like Switzerland, New Zealand, Italy, and France have bolstered the fortunes of their post offices with revenues from postal banking. In these countries, the public enjoys a stable public postal service, and increased access to banking. According to the Blacklock's article on the report, "profits in Canadian banking averaged 20.5 percent a year", including President's Choice and Canadian Tire's financial services.

John Anderson -- author of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's 2013 paper on postal banking -- was surprised by the CPC study but not its content: "I think anyone seriously studying the subject would see the same opportunity. With 6500 post offices, Canada Post could have the most extensive financial services infrastructure in the country, right off the bat."

"If they were looking at postal banking, why did they consistently tell CUPW that it was not an option they would consider?" asked Bossenberry, adding "And who killed the study?"

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