HR&A study leads to Philadelphia establishing the country’s first municipal public bank

On March 3, the Philadelphia City Council voted to establish the country’s first municipal public bank, which will lend capital to small businesses and address the historic racial disparities in commercial banking. This decision accelerates a different path for a city with one of the highest poverty rates, as well as the highest rate of un- and underbanked residents among major U.S. cities.
HR&A built on the vision established by the City of Philadelphia and authored an independent feasibility study that sets the direction for an optimal public bank structure that could achieve the City’s dual goals of uplifting the power of small businesses, many in the Black and Latinx communities, and upholding autonomy over the City’s financial resources. A public bank will help the City channel its banking powers in the public interest and offers a launching point for both immediate action and systemic change.
We commend the City of Philadelphia for launching an autonomous and equitable financial system for the people who live and work across the city.
Learn more about HR&A’s work with public banking here.