JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, has held talks with the U.S. Postal Service about placing ATMs in post office branches.
"We had very preliminary conversations with the U.S. Postal Service several months ago about what it might look like to lease a small number of spaces to place ATMs to better serve some historically underserved communities," said Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for the bank.
She added that the talks were "very preliminary" and "there is no agreement in place and no imminent plans to move forward."
The news comes amid sudden scrutiny of the USPS, which manages more than 31,000 post office locations. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify this week about his overhaul of the government agency. Lawmakers have cited concerns that cost-cutting moves made by DeJoy, a major donor to Republicans and committees supporting President Donald Trump, could impact the November election, where many citizens are expected to cast their ballots by mail.
The discussions with JPMorgan may also spark fears that the independent agency is headed for privatization. The bank could be in line for exclusive rights to solicit postal customers, according to Washington D.C.-based newsletter Capitol Forum.
Meanwhile, a task force created by former Vice President Joe Biden called for the exploration of a government banking service via the USPS to offer accounts to low and middle income Americans. That model exists in many countries outside of the U.S.