New Mexico flag (Adobe Stock photo)

By CUtoday | January 21, 2021

This state’s legislature is debating the creation of a new state public bank, a move that has the support of New Mexico’s credit unions.

The goal of the bank is to help the state’s small businesses and spur economic growth.

“It’s a great low cost, very easy way to make sure small businesses and economic development projects, municipal projects of all kinds, can get capitol pretty quickly,” Dan Mayfield, VP of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, told KRQE.

Backers of the project told the news outlet opening a public bank would keep New Mexico’s money in New Mexico, rather than being invested in global banks outside of the state – which they say will lead to better economic development for the state.

Despite its name, the “State Public Bank” would not be run by the state. It would be run by local bankers and would partner with community banks and credit unions to provide loans, KRQE reported.

Keeping Dollars at Home

Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson told KRQE the move would be good not only for Albuquerque but for communities across the state.

“Some of the things it does do and will do for New Mexico is help keep more of our dollars here locally, within the state. It’ll also offer additional options for financing for projects that are really important for our communities statewide,” Gibson was quoted as saying.

The bank would be funded by a portion of New Mexico tax dollars. If approved, they believe a New Mexico public bank could be lending more than $500 million locally within five years.