L.A. City Council takes step toward launching a city-owned bank

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L.A. City Councilman Curren Price speaks outside City Hall at a news conference on Oct. 5, 2021, about public banking in Los Angeles. (Julia Wick / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. City Councilman Curren Price speaks outside City Hall at a news conference on Oct. 5, 2021, about public banking in Los Angeles. (Julia Wick / Los Angeles Times)

After a long hiatus, the movement to establish a public bank in Los Angeles is once again inching forward.

The City Council voted Tuesday to begin a process to study the viability of forming a city-owned bank and to create a business plan for doing so.

Proponents say a public bank would allow the city to save money on banking fees, increase credit access for small businesses in underserved areas and help finance affordable housing and green energy programs. Critics of the Los Angeles proposal have questioned whether the city can realistically manage a financial institution.

A number of cities, including San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia, are exploring the creation of public banks, but none have been established yet.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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