Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings weighed in on Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to create a State Bank, saying during a recent Fox Business Network broadcast that New Jersey should work collaboratively with community banks headquartered in New Jersey, rather than create its own taxpayer-funded bank.
“There’s a hundred banks that are taking deposits from county and municipal governments in New Jersey and it’s working well,” Cummings told Stuart Varney, host of Varney & Co. on Nov. 18.
“We don’t need another government agency … when we have the infrastructure in place to serve the people of New Jersey,” Cummings said, noting that a state-run bank faced enormous difficulties in terms of capital, infrastructure and technology needs.
Cummings told Varney that Massachusetts created a commission to study the possibly of creating a state bank there 10 years ago but ultimately decided against it, citing the hefty capital investment required and the fact that a new public bank would largely duplicate economic development support already available through existing agencies.
Murphy signed an executive order on Nov. 12 to create a Public Bank Implementation Board that is tasked with developing a plan for a New Jersey state-owned bank. If implemented, it would be only the second state-owned bank in the U.S. and the first since North Dakota opened its bank in 1919.
When pressed by Varney on how the banking industry views the governor, Cummings said the governor was “a good guy, but he’s really almost anti-business now.”
“We need a friendly environment to promote businesses right now,” Cummings said. “New Jersey has tremendous assets and the governor always says that.”
Go here to watch Cummings’ interview on Varney & Co.