Skip to content

Voice of Business Blog

Bob Duffy featured in Politico: Opinion on Public Bank in Rochester

May 21, 2024

Greater Rochester Chamber President & CEO Bob Duffy was quoted in Politico Pro to share thoughts on a new bill introduced to establish a public bank in Rochester:

A bill to let Rochester establish a public bank is under serious consideration in the final weeks of New York’s state legislative session. It would be the first created in the United States since the Bank of North Dakota was founded in 1919.

Public banks give governments — in this case, the city of Rochester and Monroe County — a new option for depositing their reserves. Money earned from savings could then go toward reinvestments rather than private-sector profit.

Critics say that government isn’t great at running this sort of business — thus why it hasn't happened in a decade. And they’ve argued that a new pool of billions of dollars could also create new opportunities for corruption.

"Across the board, from every major bank or credit union, there are concerns on this, there are uncertainties, and they feel the state is going to create something competitive,” said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy, the former lieutenant governor.

Area banks are already deeply involved in community investment, Duffy said. Sending investments elsewhere would “impact their market share and their competitivity, and if businesses aren’t profitable, they leave.”

Duffy said he’s fully familiar with “how end of session goes” and how bills can be rushed through the Legislature. But he urged caution.

“I don’t believe it would be appropriate to make a quick decision on this,” he said. “It would be worthwhile to pump the brakes, stop, let these people to the table, listen. …Maybe spend the summer, the fall, the rest of the year thinking through this.”

To read the full article, please see here:


Scroll To Top