Legal Issues

The path to create a Public Bank for a City or State necessarily requires answering certain legal questions. To help guide those on this path, here are recent legal memoranda that look deeply at the legal issues of consequence in establishing a Public Bank. While existing legislation varies by state, city and county, we all can learn from each other by examining how legal experts address the issues in front of them.

Laws & Statutes

The following list includes existing statutes establishing a Public Bank and other useful related documents. As of July 2020, there are two Public Banks in the United States: the Bank of North Dakota, formed 101 years ago, and the Territorial Bank of American Samoa, formed in 2018. California passed AB857 in 2019 establishing a common charter for the creation of city and regional public banks.

North Dakota
1919 The Bank of North Dakota was established in 1919.
Bank of North Dakota statute / charter
FAQ Bank of North Dakota
American Somoa
2015 **to come**
California
2019 AB-857 (2019) Public Banks. It is the intent of the Legislature that this act authorize the lending of public credit to public banks and authorize public ownership of stock in public banks for the purpose of achieving cost savings, strengthening local economies, supporting community economic development, and addressing infrastructure and housing needs for localities. It is the intent of the Legislature that public banks shall partner with local financial institutions, such as credit unions and local community banks, and shall not compete with local financial institutions.

Proposed Legislation by State