A Public Bank – Investing in New Jersey Not Wall Street

“It’s time for us to put New Jersey’s interests ahead of the special interests so that we can put our state dollars to work more efficiently and effectively. A public bank will allow New Jersey to invest in New Jersey, period. It’s the type of big thinking we need to get back on track.”

In light of New Jersey’s challenging fiscal climate, Phil understands that we need to be putting New Jersey resources to work for the 9 million residents of our state, rather than for the special interests. That’s why Phil has proposed that New Jersey become the second state in the nation to start a public bank – a commercial enterprise, owned by the taxpayers that would accept public revenues and use them to invest in New Jersey.

Like any hard-working state takes its billions of dollars in revenues and deposits them in a bank. In fact, it often even uses many of the same banks you use. And like with your paycheck, the state has no control over how these banks use our state dollars. One bank last year even accepted more than $1 billion in our public deposits, but only made three loans through the federal government’s most popular small business lending program. Phil believes that is simply unacceptable.

This money belongs to the people of New Jersey. Phil will bring that money home, so it can build our future. Instead of investing $1.5 billion in foreign banks, a public bank will invest in New Jersey’s main streets — in our infrastructure, our communities, our students, and our small businesses. And it will provide capital to communities that, for too long, have been ignored by the financial system, whether they be women-owned businesses, businesses owned by people of color, or small businesses with big ideas who have up to now only had doors slammed in their faces.

It will operate as a strictly independent entity and follow commercial principles. It will work in tandem with our community banks and credit unions – serving as a partner not a competitor. And its profits will be returned to the people of New Jersey as non-tax revenue, not lost in fees to Wall Street. Through a public bank, New Jersey will be able to:

  • Become true partners in student success by saving the average student over $8,000 in student loan payments and refinancing existing debt at below market rates;
  • Allow small businesses to expand by increasing their access to capital at favorable terms that will save them thousands of dollars per year;
  • Provide financing for housing and community development in areas that are often ignored by the traditional financial sector; and
  • Create a new option for towns and cities looking to improve their infrastructure so that they can avoid the costly Wall Street bond markets.