02/28/2012 12:44 pm ET

Responsible Banking Ordinance In Los Angeles Approved By Budget & Finance Committee

This story comes courtesy of The City Maven on Monday, February 27.

By Alice M. Walton

A proposal that would require financial institutions doing business with the city of Los Angeles to report on their foreclosure and loan policies was approved today by the Budget and Finance Committee.

The Responsible Banking Ordinance is an idea Councilman Richard Alarcon first introduced in 2009. It picked up steam last year when it was embraced by members of the Occupy LA movement.

“Today the city of Los Angeles took a giant step forward toward holding banks accountable and making the city of Los Angeles a more informed consumer of financial services. Responsible banking is the fiscally responsible way for the city council to protect taxpayer dollars,” Alarcon said.

One sticking point of today’s discussion was whether the city of Los Angeles should rate financial agencies. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana cautioned that doing so would place an unnecessary burden on city officials.

“There are a number of different agencies — federal agencies, nonprofit organizations — that do this work every single day. It’s part of their core mission,” Santana said.

“This is not a core mission for the city. What we’re asking is that we be smart consumers and like any consumer we ask questions. We gather information and we use that information as part of an overall package of issues that we look at.”

The issue is expected to be before the full Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday.