Government: Treasurer Prepares Report for City Council’s Review
San Diego city officials are reviewing their policies covering cash investments to determine whether to impose restrictions on investing in banks involved in the financing of World War II concentration camps.
The city currently holds $40 million in certificates of deposit with two German banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. It also holds negotiable CDs with Union Bank of Switzerland, which was involved in a $1.25 billion settlement payment last year to survivors of the Holocaust.
Councilman Byron Wear requested that the city review its investment policies in light of revelations that some institutions helped finance the Nazi regime and death camps set up throughout Europe.
“I think we need to be more mindful of who we are investing with, and whether or not they have reconciled with those who suffered from their profiting,” Wear said.
City Treasurer Conny Jamison said current city policy does not prevent the city from investing with any particular banks, and that the German CDs were purchased from brokers because of the rate and the instruments’ liquidity.
“These negotiable CDs are like government bonds in that they can be traded at any time,” she said. “The city doesn’t have direct deposits with Deutsche Bank.”
Jamison said she is preparing a report for the council that it will likely review next year.
As of the end of October, the city’s cash investment pool was $1.1 billion, generating an average annual yield of 5.42 percent. Under state law, cities are restricted to generally fixed income, short-term securities, and are prohibited from investing in stock or commodities.