CUPW Demands Banking Study Again, Takes Issue with Chorpra’s Response

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Thursday February 20 2014

BY MAIL AND EMAIL

Deepak Chopra
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canada Post Corporation
2701 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0B1

Dear Mr. Chopra:

I received your letter dated February 17th, which is a response to CUPW's letter requesting a copy of Canada Post's four-year study on postal banking. Oddly your letter does not mention this major study or respond to our request for a complete version of this document. It simply acknowledges that the corporation has looked at postal banking and indicates that the addition of this service is not a good option for Canada Post.

I would like to take issue with a number of your facts and reasons for rejecting this option.

You indicate that postal administrations that have created successful financial services businesses have spent decades developing their banking expertise. While it is true that some administrations have a long history of providing rudimentary financial and banking services (as did Canada), most post offices have only started to expand their offerings in the last decade and a half. For example, Poste Italiane and Swiss Post seriously entered the financial services business in the late nineties. France's La Poste followed in 2006.  The UK is just now offering its own current account.

You also indicate that it would not be wise to enter a sector in which you have little experience. Many post offices have partnered with financial institutions for this reason.

In addition, your letter suggests that it is unlikely that Canada Post could compete with our domestic banks because they are so highly trusted and secure. As you know, the Canadian Tire Bank and PC Financial have been able to compete with our domestic banks. We suspect that an institution as trusted as Canada Post would be accepted with open arms. Polling backs this view. A 2013 Stratcom poll found that close to two out of every three respondents (63%) supported the idea of Canada Post expanding revenue-generating services, including financial services like bill payments, insurance and banking.

Finally, if postal banking is not a good idea, then why does the redacted version of the corporation's banking study state, "This would be a win-win strategy". As well, why has Canada Post hidden most of its study from public view?

If the corporation has nothing to hide, it should provide the complete study. We believe full public disclosure of this information is in everyone's interests at this point.

Sincerely ,

Gayle Bossenberry
1st National Vice-President
CUPW

 

c.c.

National Executive Committee
Regional Executive Committees
National Union Representatives
Regional Union Representatives
Specialists
CUPW locals
Lisa Raitt, Minister of State for Transport
Olivia Chow, MP
David McGuinty, MP
André Bellavance, MP
Elizabeth May, Leader Green Party