public banking

EastNewYork.com — This month, Mayor Eric Adams and Comptroller Brad Lander vowed not to deposit city funds with Wells Fargo, following alarming reports that the bank rejected more mortgage refinancing applications from Black homeowners than it approved in 2020—denying hundreds of New Yorkers the opportunity to lock in lower interest rates and build generational wealth.

We, the undersigned 25 organizations, including members of the Public Bank NYC coalition, write to you in your roles as members of the NYC Banking Commission (“the Commission”) regarding the recent Bloomberg Businessweek investigation into Wells Fargo’s discriminatory mortgage lending practices.1 For the reasons outlined below, we call on the Commission to revoke unconditionally Wells Fargo’s designation to hold City deposits.

Albany Times-Union — This budget season, there’s been a lot of talk about investing in New York’s future. Citing better-than-expected tax receipts and a wealth of federal stimulus funds, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently declared, “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make thoughtful, purpose-driven investments in our state and in our people that will pay dividends for decades.”

As you know, climate scientists for decades have warned that fossil fuels are wreaking havoc on our environment and that bold, concerted action is needed to address the climate crisis. Yet, in the six years since the Paris Agreement, banks have poured over $3.8 trillion into the fossil fuel industry, according to the Rainforest Action Network.i Banks’ funding of fossil fuels is accelerating the climate crisis, which is becoming deadlier each year.

As low-income communities and communities of color across the state continue to reel from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19, this year’s budget presents an historic opportunity to make bold investments that will drive equitable local economic development for years, and even decades, to come. We urge both houses of the Legislature to allocate $100 million for the NYS CDFI Fund and $100 million in matching funds to help local governments capitalize public banks, and to adopt, as part of the budget, the NY Public Banking Act (S1762A/A8290), which creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for local public banks in New York.