Philly officials look into creating ‘public bank’ to reinforce benefits to city

Councilman David Oh isn't convinced Philadelphia could afford to start a

Councilman David Oh isn't convinced Philadelphia could afford to start a "public bank." (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council is exploring whether to set up a “public bank.” 

If the city were to create a public bank, it would deposit some Philadelphia funds into that institution rather than a traditional bank.The new financial entity would then try to make affordable loans for projects that further the city’s interests.Philadelphia is a good candidate for the concept, said Frank Nestle of the Public Banking Institute.”By leveraging already existing public assets, the city of Philadelphia can use those resources to rebuild infrastructure including that of public education, create jobs and offer a vibrant future to all of its citizens without paying homage to Wall Street,” Nestle said.To charter a bank, Philadelphia would need to set aside $8 million … and that is giving City Councilman David Oh pause.”We do have to get a return on that, and I actually don’t think we have that much liquid assets,” Oh said Monday. “We have pension funds and other things that are tremendously indebted.”


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