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Public Banking Institute


Public Banking Institute (PBI) envisions a transformed monetary and banking system that functions in the public interest, resulting in broadly shared prosperity. PBI tries to make this vision a reality by inspiring and supporting people and institutions to set up public banking initiatives and thus returning the control of money and credit back to states and communities. Public banks can exist at all levels, from local to state to national or even international.


PBI: “Public banking distinguishes itself from private banking in that its mandate begins with the public's interest. Privately-owned banks, on the contrary, have shareholders who generally seek short-term profits as their highest priority. Public banks are able to reduce taxes within their jurisdictions, because their profits are returned to the general fund of the public entity. The costs of public projects undertaken by governmental bodies are also greatly reduced, because public banks do not need to charge interest to themselves. Eliminating interest has been shown to reduce the cost of such projects, on average, by 50 percent.”


PBI supports and gives consultancy to local, national and international initiatives that wish to create public banks. In order to educate the public on the issue of money and to explain how the economy functions, PBI created the ‘New Economy Academy’ where people can get information and follow courses. PBI also organizes national public bank conferences across the USA.


Research is another essential part of the work of PBI, because by objective reviews it is possible to show governments and individuals that public banking is clearly a better alternative than private banking. As part of their research activities PBI launched ‘The Sunshine Project’. The purpose of this project is to analyze the budgets of cities and states to determine the cost of doing business with the big private banks. Research into the costs of private banking for Los Angeles for example revealed that this city is spending over $200 million annually just on fees and other costs of banking with the big banks (costs that would be eliminated by  doing business with a bank owned by the public instead).


PBI also has a Feasibility Study/Consulting Team of experts that support municipalities and states to determine the costs, benefits, and overall feasibility of a public bank. PBI invites people to get in contact and host their own events in order to advocate for Public Banking:




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Type of initiative Knowledge/advice organization, Information/network organization
Field of work Financial services
Date of commencement 2011
Founder(s) Ellen Brown
Legal form 501c3 nonprofit
Continent North America
Country USA
City Sonoma
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Public banking, new economy
Publications articles, videos, newsletter
More information

Contact person(s)

Gwen Hallsmith


Contact information

Name Public Banking Institute
Address PO Box 2195
Zip/postal code CA 95476
Place Sonoma
State/province California
Country USA



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