For too long, big banks have been able to take advantage of Chicago taxpayers through predatory service fees, unpredictable changes in interest rates, and other bad deals that have cost us dearly. A public bank could remove the stranglehold big banks have had over our city for decades, and would allow us to wrest back control over our own financial future.
The goal of a public bank should be two-fold: to generate revenue for the public entity, and to responsibly loosen credit markets. Creating a City Bank of Chicago must be founded on solid fiscal principles that provide strong returns, prevent political control, and meet a significant and specific public demand. As a centralized bank, the City Bank of Chicago must have a clear lending directive along with a well-balanced structure. It will also be essential to adopt lending terms that have a proven track record of avoiding and discouraging predatory lending while maintaining solvency for the bank.
Using the city’s assets to allow better access to credit will make it easier for Chicagoans to live here and participate in the economy by getting small business loans where they are needed most, while also maintaining a protected financial approach so we are not putting the city’s finances at risk.