If USPS does enter the financial services marketplace, could it change the relationship between postal credit unions and their original sponsor group?

William Yarborough, CEO at U.S. Postal Service FCU in Clinton, Md., suggested that the impact would be different for each individual credit union.

Many postal credit unions have already moved to a community charter or some other FOM expansion, Yarborough noted and "it certainly would have less impact on those."

"The postal service getting into these types of services won't probably impact the postal credit unions and those postal employees that they serve," he added. "They're already members of a credit union, and for a good reason. They know they're a great deal and they're a preferred vendor for them.... I don't see anybody leaving a credit union to go to the Postal Service."

Yarborough said that a USPS-credit union partnership could strengthen the relationship between postal CUs and the Postal Service.

"On the other hand, if they were to establish relationships with other non-postal credit union entities like a for-profit bank, then that obviously could hurt our market share some," he said. "But it would be perplexing as to why they would want to establish something with someone else when we've been part of the postal family for years." He reminded that in states such as Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia, postal CUs were the first credit unions established in those states, pre-dating the Federal Credit Union Act.

CUNA is scheduled to meet with the Postal Service later this month to discuss the topic and possible credit union partnerships.

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