Public banks for the people
We envision a world in which our financial systems do not maximize profits at the expense of our communities and our precious planet.
A bank’s true purpose is to serve the public interest because the banking system is propped up by our deposit dollars and our tax dollars. As we advocate for all banks to be more equitable, and meet the needs of savers and borrowers, we promote bold solutions like public banking.
We envision an ecosystem of financial alternatives working to restore banking to its proper role: helping people, businesses, and nonprofits access capital fairly.
Public banks, which exist all over the world, are owned by a public entity (for instance by a city or a state). Their purpose is to leverage public dollars to serve the needs of the community, which can include checking accounts for un- and underbanked individuals as well as financing public infrastructure projects.
We are in support of public banks that have strong community governance and accountability, as well as strict social, racial, and environmental justice guidelines.
At Beneficial State, we advocate for public banking in the following ways:
- We are an active member of the California Public Banking Coalition.
- We helped craft and pass the California Public Banking Act (AB 857) in 2019 that allows city and county governments to create a public bank.
- We helped craft the California State Public Bank Act (AB 310) in 2020, which we are currently working on.
- We participate in national-level organizing for public banks.
- Beneficial State Bank co-founder, Kat Taylor, participated in the San Francisco Municipal Banking Feasibility Task Force.
- We’ve hosted and sponsored events with academics and activists to educate the public.
- Learn about AB 310 to gear up for our push in the California legislature!
- Watch Beneficial State Bank co-founder Kat Taylor talk public banks on the Laura Flanders Show.
- Perspective: The Green New Deal is a chance to address big banks who are financing climate destruction and mass incarceration
- Check out the range of bold public banking options including postal banking and FedAccounts.