Public Banking for New Mexico
Santa Fe Public Bank Task Force
>> Read the Task Force’s Final Report with Executive Summary, Conclusions & Recommendations
>> Read the Task Force’s Final Report Appendices on the City’s website
>> Access full Task Force audio recordings of meetings and related reports (August 2017 to April 2018)
The Santa Fe Public Bank Task Force, including professionals from banking, state/federal regulation, the city finance department, the business community and the president of BoNM undertook 8 months of in-depth study into the regulatory, legal, capitalization and governance issues of a city-owned public bank.
Based on its research, in a report submitted to the City of Santa Fe Finance Committee on April 30 and the full city council on May 9, the Task Force is recommending that Santa Fe’s governing body move forward, in participation with appropriate legislative and executive officials at the state level, to investigate, and, if deemed appropriate, develop a statewide public bank in which Santa Fe would participate.
This recommendation is based on key Task Force Conclusions:
• If limited to the City of Santa Fe’s financial assets, the possible benefits that a Public Bank might generate are at best marginal and at worst would carry risk of non-viability because of the relatively small scale of the City’s financial means, especially when weighed against the considerable costs of creating the bank.
• The current legal and regulatory requirements are not conducive to the creation of a State chartered [city-owned] Public Bank and would require amending existing legal and regulatory requirements through legislation to allow for development of a Public Bank.
• The Task Force briefly looked beyond the scope of its enabling resolution at the potential role a Public Bank could fill that the City’s Finance Department cannot, because the latter is restricted from financing the private sector.
a. While, by itself, a Public Bank cannot finance the magnitude of the City’s infrastructure investments needed, it could have a valuable role as a financial source to leverage private and philanthropic investment toward Santa Fe’s economic development needs.
b. It also could enable the retention and expansion of Santa Fe’s community banks, credit unions and CDFI’s that loan their depositors’ money locally.
The Task Force is also recommending that the governing body establish a standing committee to evaluate, enhance and coordinate a collaborative financial network in Santa Fe, for the purpose of leveraging public, private and philanthropic capital toward effectively addressing our community’s critical needs including affordable housing, city-wide public transportation and 2040 renewable energy targets.
Economic research conducted by the Impact SF Network and input obtained through initial consultations with Inter-faith leaders, local foundations and non-profit educational and public service organizations revealed critical unmet needs demanding new funding sources. The Task Force also identified the emergence of an impact investing community eager to more aggressively support economic development through public-private collaborations.