Why A State Bank

Pioneering a new course.

The financial crisis brought on by the “Too-Big-To-Fail” banks plunged the country into the worst recession since the 1930s. But while the federal government bailed out the nation’s biggest banks and corporations, the rest of the country has been left to fend for itself. Two years, six million foreclosures, and eight million lost jobs later, the financial system is not meeting the needs of America’s working families. We need to do something different, and the Connecticut State Bank will tilt the playing field back in the favor of average Connecticut resident. There is a model for this. The State of North Dakota has been successfully operating its own state bank–the Bank of North Dakota–for over 90 years to the exclusive benefit of the citizens of their state.

What will it do?

The Connecticut State Bank will operate as a profitable business, but unlike private corporations, the profits belong not to shareholders and CEOs, but to the citizens of the State of Connecticut.

  • A State Bank will partner with community banks and credit unions in making loans to Connecticut businesses, farms, students and homeowners. It will not be a competitor to local banks but rather will partner with them to strengthen and stabilize our community banking sector.
  • The Connecticut State Bank will support the economic development of the State by increasing access to capital for businesses and farms within the State in partnership with local financial institutions.
  • The Connecticut State Bank will reduce costs paid by the State of Connecticut for basic banking services and will be able to return profits, beyond those necessary to accomplish the mission and continued sound operation of the OSB, to the Rainy Day Fund of the State.

How is it structured?

The Bank will be run by an independent management and will be subject to the same financial management rules as other banks. But because the Connecticut State Bank will belong to the people, it can direct its activities in ways that benefit the businesses and the citizens of the Oregon.

  • The Board of Governors of the OSB will consist of three statewide elected officials, the Governor, the Treasurer and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industry. There will also be a seven member Board of Advisors which will include local bankers as well as representatives from business, labor and agriculture in the State.
  • The day to day operations of the OSB will be the responsibility of the Bank President, who will be someone with extensive experience in banking. The OSB will be regulated like any other bank in the State and will follow prudent banking practices in all its lending.
  • The deposit base of the OSB will be from the Short Term Funds of the State. It will be capitalized by government funds, such as funds currently invested elsewhere, or government issued bonds.

Can’t we just put more money into community banks or state loan programs?

A Connecticut State Bank will not compete with local banks, but instead will partner with them to ensure that Connecticut’s money is put to work in Connecticut.

  • A State Bank will partner with Connecticut’s community banks and serve as a bankers’ bank for local financial institutions. It will go much farther than simply depositing state or local government funds into community banks; it will be able to buy loans from community banks thus allowing them to do more lending, and it will be able to enter into participation loans with community banks which increase the lending a local bank can do while at the same time spreading the risk.
  • A state bank will have far greater impact than beefed-up state agency lending programs. Under banking regulations, a state bank can leverage its deposits in a way that state loan programs can not, thus significantly increasing the amount of credit it can make available to local businesses and farms.
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