My testimony today will address ways in which our current financial system serves to extract wealth, and the need to strengthen and enforce laws to hold banks and other financial institutions accountable to people and communities. At the same time, we must focus on creating public banks and other institutions that are designed to build community wealth and serve the public interest.
The 20 undersigned organizations are pleased to respond to New York City’s Shared Equity Request for Information (RFI). We believe that New York City should be a beacon for cooperative economics, advancing racial and gender equity and community-led development. Our organizations include cooperatives and community land trusts, as well as grassroots and member-led groups that have developed these and other shared equity strategies in Black, brown, and immigrant communities. Also included are organizations that provide critical financing, legal assistance, training and other support to community-led initiatives.
This response to the Shared Equity RFI discusses ways in which a local public bank in NYC would advance shared equity goals, and provides context on current state and municipal policy efforts toward creating a municipal public bank in NYC. Fundamentally, we see public banking as a catalyst for cooperative and community-led development in Black, brown, and immigrant communities, including those hardest hit by the pandemic.
The Nation — Even as the pandemic devastated New York City, megabanks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America continued to do a roaring trade. And now those financial behemoths are set to manage the funds that New York City and other municipalities will be deploying for the recovery. But financial justice advocates want to see the City move its money from the Wall Street titans to a public bank, owned and operated by the people.
Daily News — New York has been making slow, halting moves in the direction of creating a public bank — a publicly owned financial institution that would facilitate financial services, especially loans, to help students, families and small businesses, using the billions of dollars in tax revenue, fees and fines and operating cash the city controls.
Newsday — Banks have charged Long Islanders an estimated $120 million in overdraft, ATM and maintenance fees since the start of the pandemic, compounding the economic hardships experienced by low-income residents, according to a report issued by a coalition of progressive groups Wednesday.
Today, members of the Public Bank NYC coalition held a news conference at the “Charging Bull” sculpture to call out Wall Street for mauling New Yorkers with predatory fees during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to call on Albany to pass the “NY Public Banking Act.”
Gotham Gazette- Reopening the door to Wells Fargo suggests that city officials have not learned the lessons of the past year, or decades. In the face of New York’s severe affordable housing shortage, climate devastation, and extreme racial wealth inequality—all exacerbated by COVID-19—we need bold action.
A public bank would build wealth and power in communities hardest hit by the pandemic. It’s needed now more than ever.
Members of the Public Bank NYC coalition and the NYC Council slammed the NYC Banking Commission’s decision today to approve Wells Fargo’s request to resume holding New York City deposits – potentially billions of dollars. The Banking Commission – composed of the Mayor, Comptroller and Commissioner of Finance, and charged with selecting which banks may hold city deposits – voted today without allowing any input from the public.
Today, an obscure public body, the NYC Banking Commission, will decide the fate of billions of public dollars when it meets to select which banks may hold the city’s cash for the next two years. The big question before the Commission is whether the city should resume banking with Wells Fargo after cutting ties with the scandal-ridden bank in 2017.