Expatica news

More people banking at post

GENEVA – Financial services offered by post offices are showing sharp growth amid worldwide economic turmoil, the Universal Postal Union said Thursday.

"Postal financial institutions are experiencing tremendous growth since the crisis began," said the UPU, citing a survey of 15 of the world’s largest postal services and private courier companies.

Some post offices, such as Swiss Post and Deutsche Post, saw annual growth rates of over 50 percent in the number of savings accounts opened in 2008, said the 191-nation UN agency.

It also noted that a similar trend was more noticeable during the Great Depression of the 1930s when postal savings accounts jumped eight-fold in the United States.

Actual mail services, however, are suffering, with domestic volumes down 5.9 percent during the fourth quarter in 2008 compared to the same period during 2007. Revenues from express services fell 7.9 percent.

Only domestic package volumes remained stable, growing 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter due to record e-commerce sales.

AFP / Expatica