A recent article by Carey L. Biron for Thomson Reuters Foundation quotes numerous public banking advocates including PBI Senior Advisor Walt McRee, Philadelphia Councilmember Derek Green, Public Bank East Bay leader Susan Harman, San Francisco Public Bank co-founder Jackie Fielder, Massachusetts Public Banking leader Ruth Caplan, and PBI Advisory Board member Thomas Marois.
Boom in U.S. public banks aiming to stay local and play fair
“‘Small businesses like myself feel beaten up,’ said [April] Fenall, who runs Oakland-based Piikup in northern California.
“‘We don’t need another loan. We don’t need debt funding. Low-interest, friendly loans are what we need.’
“So a new proposal in the area has caught her eye: a public bank, aimed at filling the gaps left by traditional financial institutions that some say often shun micro or minority businesses.
“‘Loans under $50,000 are just not interesting for community banks or local financial institutions … it isn’t worth their time and energy,’ said Susan Harman, who sits on the board of the proposed Public Bank East Bay.
“‘That’s a huge gap in the market that we hope to fill in partnership with local financial institutions.’”
Councilman Derek Green (right) addresses local public banking lobbyists at Philadelphia City Hall on Lobby Day. Photo by Stanley Shapiro.