San Francisco given go-ahead to start creating nation’s first municipal bank

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San Francisco is on track to create the first municipal bank in the nation after the city’s Board of  Supervisors unanimously passed a business and government plan on Tuesday.

With the board’s go-ahead, San Francisco is permitted to start implementing its own publicly owned financial corporation, which would then be converted into the city’s first public bank.

Supervisor Dean Preston said the plan comes as the city continues to recover from economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that traditional private banking has “failed” San Francisco residents and small businesses from accessing equitable financial services, especially for communities of color.

“As we continue to chart a path to economic recovery and a sustainable economy, the plans approved today provide a road map for our city to create the first municipal public bank in the country, a crucial strategy to ensure that our city funds are used to reverse inequities, not perpetuate them,” said Preston.

This plan has been over a year in the making, said Preston’s office. A working group of community leaders, public bankers, financial experts and small business owners have been collaborating on finding a path forward that considers both inclusive economic development and strategic operations and management.

Supervisor and Budget Committee and Local Agency Formation Commission Chair Connie Chan said the public bank could serve as a “green and equitable alternative to big banks.”

“Our investment in the public bank protects the future of our local economy and the financial interests of San Franciscans,” said Chan. “We will continue to build on this momentum until we get this done.”

Jackie Fielder, co-founder of the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition, said federal funding under President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides a “rare opportunity” for the city to take action on implementing the first public bank in the U.S.

“It’s crucial we move immediately on these plans and establish a green bank,” said Fielder.

Image by: Pixabay

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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