public banking

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.

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.

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.

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.