A public bank is owned by a state, municipality, or Joint Powers Authority. Current examples of successful public banks include the following:
- Bank of North Dakota
- German Public Bank
- Many nations have postal banking systems (the United States did from 1911-1967)
Public banks come in many forms. They can be capitalized through initial investment by cities/states, invest tax revenues, create money in the form of bank credit, and lend at very low interest rates. The specific operations of each public banking entity is determined by the bank’s charter, which is the document that creates each bank. Public banks empower local residents to design financial solutions that best serve their communities.
Cooperation Humboldt is partnering with the City of Eureka and local leaders from the sectors of finance and organized labor on a citizens’ task force to investigate the feasibility of participating in a regional public bank.
Check out our forum on Public Banking from 2/21/2021, where David Cobb (Cooperation Humboldt), Jake Varghese (Public Bank East Bay) and Paul Pryde describe the groundbreaking new CA law that allows for the creation of 10 local regional public banks. They also discuss the growing momentum for AB310, which would create a statewide Public Bank for California.