New report calls for public banks to provide household financial services

Roosevelt Institute report


In a new Roosevelt Institute report co-published with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, Thomas Herndon and Mark Paul argue for the public provision of household financial services. They write:

“To foster a more inclusive and accessible economy and society for all communities in the U.S., the public provision of banking goods and services by the government is an important— and bold—option to consider.” ...

The report argues for a public banking option that would give an alternative from the outsized and often predatory private household financial sector: 

"First, the federal government would directly provide households with basic transaction services and consumer credit. This would ensure that all communities have access to basic financial tools, such as checking and savings accounts, check cashing, direct deposit, and online banking, as well as to small loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

"Second, the public bank would manage an online financial services marketplace, creating an environment where public and private financial goods would directly compete alongside each other. This second component would serve as a powerful regulatory tool by allowing the government to condition sellers’ access to the marketplace based on certain consumer safety standards. ...

[Read the full report]

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