San Francisco Mulls Creation of City Bank

San Francisco could soon undertake a near unprecedented move by creating its own bank.

The only other public bank is in North Dakota. Now, some prominent Bay Area officials, including Supervisors Malia Cohen and Sandra Fewer, would like to follow suit.

The idea isn’t new. In 2011, a report from the city’s budget and legislative analyst laid out a number of benefits of a city-owned bank, including new streams of revenue and lower borrowing costs. Today, the idea is being driven by three main factors: marijuana dispensaries and undocumented immigrants, who are both unable to fully utilize the baking system, and the number of politically controversial projects some banks have been involved in, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Now is the time,” said Fewer. “Especially when we see the big banks are investing in bad actors that are not aligned with San Francisco values. This would give us control over our money.”

San Francisco isn’t the only one. The Oakland City Council’s Finance and Management Committee will also be looking into the creation of a public bank for marijuana businesses.

Learn more about if and how it would all work at the San Francisco Chronicle


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