Board of Alderman President Louis Reed introduced a resolution Mar 9 to create a Task Force to study how a Public Bank of St Louis could address some of the city’s most pressing needs, including affordable housing, small business growth and financing for municipal projects.
The Clayton Times quotes Alderman Reed:
“When you look at the mass unbanked population, when you look at the challenges that people have with getting and receiving loans, and also being able to fund developments and things of that nature throughout the city, particularly in some of our more challenged neighborhoods, I believe there’s some benefit to looking at how we leverage our tax dollars.”
The Clayton Times continues:
According to the resolution, the establishment of a public municipal bank may offer the possibility of achieving multiple policy objectives, including increasing economic development, spurring job creation, providing an alternative to predatory lenders, addressing the problems associated with an underbanked population, increasing funding of affordable housing developments, reducing municipal debt service, and expanding the income stream of the city through direct and long-term local lending at below-market rates.
The resolution also reads that a public bank could build partnerships with community banks to extend reliable and affordable credit to small businesses and other community stakeholders, neither acting as a retail establishment in competition with private banks.