From MarketWatch! Dump your bank Commentary: Hate your bank? Join the crowd and dump it

David Weidner • marketwatch.com • December 1, 2011

…The second step consumers can take if they’re fed up with banks is supporting public banking. In a recent column, I noted how San Francisco’s Occupy movement is supporting a public bank for the city. Read related commentary on Occupy San Francisco and municipal banks .

But public banking, in which government assets are set aside for lending back into the community, is gaining traction nationally too. There are public banks or derivatives in North Dakota and Oklahoma. Three states — Maine, Montana and Arizona — have bills proposing state-owned banks in their legislative bodies. And nine more states are considering some form of public banking.

An organization called the Public Banking Institute was founded in January by Ellen Brown, a Los Angeles-based attorney, to lobby and focus national efforts.

If formed, these new banks would partner with local banks, offering to match loans dollar-to-dollar with them to local borrowers. While state banks generally aren’t retail banks, there’s no reason why they couldn’t offer retail services down the road, since they are effectively public credit unions.

Read the article here.

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