The family-owned Montgomery Bank will not lend money for projects in which local governments use eminent domain to take private property for use by private developers.
To our knowledge, Montgomery Bank is the first family-owned bank in the nation to do this. The sanctity of private property ownership is one of the hallmarks of our individual rights as private citizens. Eminent domain should only be used for public projects, not to benefit private developers.
In June 2005 the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, ruled that 15 private homes in New London, Connecticut, could be acquired by eminent domain to build a privately-owned luxury hotel and condo project. Eminent domain was justified because of potential increased tax revenues.
Financial institutions won't help build better communities by supporting these misguided projects. We've already witnessed the chaos unleashed on local communities when city councils and private developers threaten to use this type of legislation.
Troy Wilson, chief executive officer
Joel Montgomery, vice chairman and general counsel