Winnebago County resident David Soll moderates a Skype conference call with residents and PBI founding director, Mike Krauss, in the Rockford Public Library.
Winnebago County, IL sits due west of Chicago on the Wisconsin border. It is the sixth largest county in Illinois, behind Chicago and its immediate suburbs. It has a population of just under 300,000.Read more
State and local governments struggle with the high cost of building and maintaining infrastructure. Roads and bridges across the country are crumbling as a result.Read more
Jimmy Tobias of The Nation offers a comprehensive look at city-based public banking efforts in Oakland, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also provides background on the only public bank in the US—the Bank of North Dakota—and offers solid economic reasons why cities and states should consider establishing a public bank.Read more
PBI Chair Walt McRee and PBI’s NJ State Coordinator Joan Bartl attended a victory party for NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy in Princeton, NJ last week, celebrating the beginning of a new era of mainstream acceptance of public banking in American public policy. What does it mean for the movement?Read more
Here are the most frequently asked questions we get at the Public Banking Institute:
- Q: What precedent is there for public banking in the US?
- Q: What is the difference between a public bank and any other bank?
- Q: Who would benefit from a public bank?
- Q: What are the problems public banks are trying to solve?
- Q: Won't greedy politicians just use a public bank to fund pet projects and line their pockets?
- Q: Will a public bank compete with local banks in my area?
- Q: Why are some banks opposed to public banking?
- Q: How could a publicly owned bank help an economically struggling state?
- Q: Can't cities and states just deposit their funds into a credit union? Wouldn't that amount to the same thing?
- Q: Won't a public bank require a very large investment by a city/county/state?
- Who will set policy for public banks? Who decides whether to approve loans? How are decisionmakers insulated from bribes and financial or political pressure?
What Public Banks Can Do for You:
- Make affordable loans to small businesses, farmers, government entities, and students
- Save taxpayers up to 50% on infrastructure projects, like bridges and trains and schools
- Eliminate billions in bank fees and money management fees for cities and states
- Support a vibrant community banking sector
- Enable sustainable prosperity
What's the Definition of a Public Bank?
A Public Bank is a chartered depository bank in which public funds are deposited. A Public Bank is owned by a government unit — a state, county, city, or tribe — and mandated to serve a public mission that reflects the values and needs of the public that it represents. In existing and proposed US Public Bank models, skilled bankers, not the government, make bank decisions and provide accountability and transparency to the public for how public funds are used.
Public Banks are popular globally, operating on a variety of models; and new models continue to be proposed. The US, however, currently has only one public depository bank — the Bank of North Dakota (BND). All state revenues are deposited in the BND by law.
Help promote Public Banking and banking in the public interest.
The Public Banking Institute was formed in January 2011 and is a national educational non-profit organization working to achieve the implementation of Public Banking at all levels of the American economy and government: local, regional, state, and national. This is not a new or radical idea. On the contrary, it is a solid, time-tested model with abundant successful examples of Public Banking around the world, including state and national banks. But currently there is only one such bank (the Bank of North Dakota) in the United States.
Our current private banking system has presided over the greatest concentration of wealth in human history, while the vast majority of America and the world has endured stagnant wages, declining wealth, and recurring recessions. In contrast, Public Banks empower small businesses, students, homeowners, city and state governments, and community banks to prosper and thrive by banking for the common good over the long term, and making low-cost credit available where it is needed in the real economy.
PBI is at the forefront of the public banking movement in the 21st century. We are pioneering something truly revolutionary: a banking and monetary system that supports sustainable prosperity for all of us.
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