What is the difference between Green Banking, Postal Banking, and Public Banking? We’ve outlined a few key differentials below.
All three types of banking are public alternatives to the Wall St. style, for-profit, large commercial banks which we are used to providing both retail (taking deposits from individuals and providing personal banking services) as well as commercial services (lending to and working with institutions, governments, and businesses). However, each type of bank is designed for a unique purpose: green banking is meant to drive private capital into “green” market gaps; postal banking is well suited to fill the specific need of reaching people with little or no access to retail banking; public banking is meant to create a cyclical cash flow by leveraging a community’s money specifically to serve the needs of that community.
Each offers unique benefits and styles that set it apart. Green banking corners a niche market: its specialized financial know-how opens doors to allow capital to move directly towards developing green technology markets, meeting ambitious emissions targets, and lowering energy costs. Postal banking leverages the fact that USPS, with locations already built-in banking deserts, is legally required to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality, eliminating many barriers for those who are underserved by the current system. A public bank, automatically funded by existing (not new) government revenue, is able to stabilize local economies by increasing the availability of productive capital in a community, eliminating losses due to high-interest loans, and offsetting recessions by providing lending when it’s most needed, usually through collaboration with community banks.
More info outlined in the lists below:
Sources: Campaign for Postal Banking, Take on Wall St., Forbes.com
Sources: RMPBI, Public Banking Coalition, Democracy Policy
Sources: Green Bank Network, CO Green Energy Fund