Gotham Gazette — In recent memory public banking was an idea that belonged either to a distant utopian future or a distant populist past. But today, not only is public banking on the agenda of major New York politicians, but competing visions of public banking are on offer.
Capital Tonight — For decades, many banks in the U.S. denied mortgages to people of color based strictly on race or the neighborhood where they lived. The practice, which started in the 1930s, was called red-lining and it was backed by the U.S. government. It’s one of the reasons that black families lost out on the wealth accumulation that white families have leveraged for the past 90 years.
City Limits — The City Council’s finance committee took up a slate of bills Wednesday that aim to increase public transparency around where the city does its banking—what advocates say would be the “first key steps” towards starting a public bank in New York City.
As the NYC Council’s Committee on Finance held its first hearing on a package of bills laying groundwork for a municipal bank, the Public Bank NYC coalition released new findings showing NYC’s “Designated Banks” – those authorized to hold municipal deposits – exacted more than $5 billion in predatory overdraft fees in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated NYC and the country.
NY State of Politics — State lawmakers in New York want to lay down the regulatory framework for municipalities to create local public banks in order to extend and expand access to communities of color in the post-COVID-19 economy.
Today, community, labor, and cooperative groups from across the state joined NYS Senate Banks Chair James Sanders Jr. and NYS Assembly Banks Chair Victor M. Pichardo to rally for the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782). The bill creates a regulatory framework for New York cities, counties and regions seeking to establish local public banks—financial institutions created by cities and counties, and accountable to the people.
Today, more than 100 community, labor, and cooperative groups and community development financial institutions from across New York State delivered a letter to state legislative leaders, urging swift passage of the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782) as an urgent strategy to advance racial equity and ensure a just recovery for all New Yorkers.
This bill creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for local governments seeking to establish public banks. Public banks are financial institutions created by government entities, and accountable to the people. Through public banking, cities and counties can manage their own revenues and leverage those funds to support local economic development, including affordable housing, green jobs, equitable financial services, and more.
City Limits — The City Council is considering measures that would scrutinize the city’s relationship with corporate banks and other financial entities—disclosures that could pave the pathway to creating a municipal public bank in the future.
Today, a citywide coalition of labor and community groups and community-based financial institutions joined with NYS Senators, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, and NYC Council Members to call for the creation of a public bank in NYC.