Agency 7: Community Bank

18 min read

The Community Bank Agency is the seventh agency in the community. It provides personal banking services to all participants. The agency also provides banking services and loans to all agencies in its “column” a grouping of 8 agencies that align in terms of their functions. The agency forms part of the Economic Bureau. Other agencies in the bureau are Capital Bank Agency (agency 8), and the Commercial Bank Agency (agency 9).

The Community Bank Agency receives funds in the form of investment from the Capital Bank Agency (agency 8), which it then uses for its operations, including capitalizing the loans it offers, and other chargeable services to participants. From the revenues the agency generates, it is able to honor its obligations, including paying a return to the Capital Bank for capital invested. The agency is therefore geared to run on a profit, while delivering quality and affordable services.

The Economic Bureau is the community’s repository. It stores the community’s resources and leverages them to enhance access, and to enable the community to derive maximum benefit. The bureau forms the core of the community econosystem, which anchors the community’s aim of providing sustainable prosperity for all. The bureau’s agencies have specific responsibilities in developing and running the community storehouse.

What does the bank do?

As the community’s retail banker, and as part of the Economic Bureau, the Community Bank’s roles help in creating money, ease the movement of funds, and support personal transactions transactions. The agency:

  • Holds participants’ checking and savings accounts
  • Provides commercial loans to agencies in its vertical
  • Participates in developing and running the storehouse

Retail banking

The Community Bank Agency provides participants with ordinary retail banking services through the checking and savings that they hold with the bank. Participants access these services online, without having to interact with the bank’s executive presidency.

The Community Bank is the primary banker for participants. While they have business accounts with the Commercial Bank Agency (agency 9), their accounts there are mostly to facilitate business transactions. The funds in their business accounts are transferred from their checking and savings accounts as needed from time to time.

The bank’s system enhances commerce in the community by speeding up the movement of funds. It also maintains sophisticated algorithms that help participants set what they need in their checking and savings accounts and term deposits.

Movement of funds

In the course of their businesses, participants deposit some profits from their businesses in their checking accounts. A checking account is designed to take care of frequent personal needs, such as food, personal care items, and rent. In the course of a participant’s business, the funds in their business account may be insufficient to handle a business expense. In such instances, any balance is obtained from the participant’s checking account.

The bank’s algorithm considers a participant’s personal and contingent business needs and sets a minimum amount it deems sufficient to cover them for a specific period. The algorithm also considers the frequency of transactions in the account. Therefore, each participant has a specific amount that the algorithm retains in the checking account.

 When the set limit for deposits in the checking account is reached, the system automatically transfers any surplus to the participant’s savings account. Further deposits within the specified period are directly transferred to savings. Funds in the savings account also have a ceiling. In setting this ceiling, the algorithm considers medium-term potential needs that a participant may face. It considers, for instance, their health, dependents, education needs, and business health, among others. Savings accounts earn an interest, based on average amounts and the Community Bank’s performance.

Checking accountSavings accountTerm deposit
Short-term personal expenses including food, personal effects, and possible business costsAnticipated, significant, expenses including medical bills, business expansion, educationinstrument to save up to buy additional partnership interest in Capital Bank

As a participant’s business prospers, and saved funds reach the specified amount, the bank’s algorithm transfers the excess to term deposits. Terms deposits earn interest as well, based on the same parameters as savings. Term deposits are held until they reach $30,000, after which 20,000 is transferred to the Capital Bank and added to the limited partner’s partnership interest. Term deposits are not held to mature at a specific time, such as a month or quarter, but mature when they reach $20,000, including interest. This process is repeated over and over, as a participant prospers in the economy.

If a participant is still a minor dependent, they can still accumulate their term deposits. If these deposits hit $20,000 the dependent can become a limited partner on reaching 16 years of age, at which point $20,000 or more, in multiples of 20,000, from their term deposit is transferred to the Capital Bank. The algorithms also help the bank control withdrawals and transfers, a crucial element in the bank’s strategy of improving its resilience and stability, while averting bank runs.

While money in checking and savings accounts can freely be withdrawn as needed, term deposits have a withdrawal limit of 2% per day. Any withdrawals above 2% need approval from the executive presidency, on advice from the village presidency for human relations that serves the account holder. The limit protects the bank from potential bank runs that can destroy them. The limit also gives the Community Bank greater room to use depositors’ money when providing loans to agencies, thereby enhancing the utilization of financial resources and enhancing productivity.

Providing banking services to villages and agencies

Each agency in the community has a bank account with the bank agency in their column. At the same time, each village and district presidency has a bank account with the bank agency under which the agency they serve falls. Agencies’ bank accounts are operated by the relevant executive presidency. Respective village and district presidencies operate their districts’ accounts as applicable.

Agencies banking with Community Bank (agency 7)Agencies banking with Capital Bank (agency 8)Agencies banking with Commercial Bank (agency 9)
Human Relations (agency 1)Stewardship (agency 2)Business Operations (agency 3)
Health and Nutrition (agency 4)Life Planning (agency 5)Recreation and Arts (agency 6)
Communication (agency 10)Bylaws and IT Infrastructure (agency 11)Public Relations (agency 12)
IP (agency 13)Legal (agency 14)Audit (agency 15)
Accounting (agency 16)Data and Publishing (agency 17)QHSE (agency 18)
Business Planning (agency 19)Marketing (agency 20)Risk Management and Underwriting (agency 21)
Cropland and Pastures (agency 22)Community Land and Utilities (agency 23)Raw Materials and Transport (agency 24)

In the villages and districts, presidencies access banking services as follows:

Village/ District presidencies banking with Community BankVillage/ District presidencies banking with Capital BankVillage/ District presidencies banking with Commercial Bank
Village presidency for human relationsVillage presidency for stewardshipVillage presidency for business operations
District presidency for health and nutritionDistrict presidency for life planningDistrict presidency for recreation and arts

Villages, districts, and agencies receive the capital they need to start up and run their operations from the Capital Bank Agency. When any of the entities that bank with the Community Bank needs a loan, it gets the required down payment from the capital. Down payment limits the bank’s risk exposure and allows villages, districts, and agencies to participate in the acquisition of assets.

Community Bank loans are used to acquire assets that are then leased out to participants at a fee. The revenue collected is used to pay back loans, and the return due on the capital invested by the Capital Bank. All assets acquired by villages and districts are ultimately owned by their agency.

 The Community Bank does not provide participants with commercial loans. This is based on, among other things, the fact that participants do not need to own any assets in the community besides their business, which they are helped to build through the lease/ factoring of space, inventory, and equipment from the village agencies. In other words, the absence of the opportunity to own personal assets negates the need to access a loan.

Developing and running the storehouse

The Community Bank Agency, together with other agencies in the Economic Bureau is responsible for building and maintaining the community’s storehouse, which includes a 15-acre complex next to the 24 district buildings within the community, and its mirror in the industrial and agricultural zone.

The community storehouse is a complex that includes several social amenities. At each of the four corners, there is one of the following: a theater, a concert hall, a recreational center, or a sports items store. In between these, there are large retail stores. Within the storehouse, there is a stadium and a farmers’ market. The facilities are developed and run by the Community and Commercial Bank agencies, with capital from the Capital Bank and loans advanced by each bank to itself.

The Community Bank handles the amenities located at the corners. the Commercial Bank, on the other hand, handles the stadium, the farmers market, and the retail stores. The banks lease the facilities to limited partners who run hosting businesses. The hosts in turn lease the space to tenants, and coordinate regular maintenance, including cleaning and routine repairs. The banks handle more intensive repairs and maintenance as needed. The Community Bank also builds the mirrored storehouse.

Development of storehouse facilities is done with loans issued by itself, with a down payment coming from capital invested by the Capital Bank. The land is leased from the Community Land and Utilities Agency (agency 23). Thereafter, the agency helps the community store sufficient grain and other non-perishables using silos and other necessary tools. The mirrored storehouse is highly automated, enabling constant monitoring of the quality of stored products, and lessening the need for human labor to monitor it.

Once constructed, facilities in the storehouse are leased to a limited partner who runs it as a business. The limited partner leases space that they use to store grain on behalf of farmers or other businesses that buy from farmers and process farm produce. Leases are competitively issued, with clients required to constantly review storehouse operators’ performance.

Banking and loan-making characteristics

In modern practice, commercial banks issue loans while adhering to their exposure to risk, as well as their ability to sufficiently meet customer demands, such as withdrawals. Banks typically apply the leverage ratio, and the capital adequacy ratio when calculating how much in loans they can issue, and the level of deposits needed to deal with operations, including meeting depositors’ obligations.

The capital adequacy ratio is a percentage of loans (risk-weighted assets) that a bank should have as capital. An international regulatory framework for banks known as Basel III has set this at 10.5%. This means that of the total loans that a bank makes, it needs to weigh the risk, and then have at least 10.5% of that in capital.

Typically, the community will have low risk due to the stability offered by the economic system, the access to near-perfect and well-analyzed information, and the absence of unsecured loans to individuals. Therefore, a loan of $1,000,000 issued to an agency might be risk-weighted to $100,000. The bank would be required to have 10.5% of this ($10,500) as capital.

Since the Community Bank would be subject to regulatory guidelines in the area where a community is located, it would need this capital, which it obtains from the Capital Bank. The Capital Bank’s investment in the Commercial Bank is therefore an important determinant of how much in loans the commercial bank can advance.

The second measure, leverage ratio, refers to a bank’s tier 1 capital divided by its assets. Tier 1 capital for the Commercial Bank is the investment received from the Capital Bank. This is divided by assets, including loans, and, in this case, its share of assets in the community storehouse and any other assets it holds.

Creating money

the Commercial Bank creates money through the loans it issues to agencies and villages. The bank has a monopoly in banking services. Therefore, when it issues a loan, the arising deposit is banked with it, which, before the loan was created, did not exist. The new money can be used to back another loan, and so on, through a model known as fractional reserve banking. Through its activities, the bank can control the flow of money in the economy, increasing supply, tackling inflation, and spurring economic activity.

The reserve ratio is used to approximate the limit to which a bank can multiply or create new money. The money multiplier is defined as:

money multiplier =1
reserve ratio

Using the Basel rate (10.5%), this can be calculated as:

money multiplier =1 = 9.524
0.105

This measure implies that through fractional reserve banking, the bank can multiply money (or increase the money supply in the economy) by more than 9 times.

The NewVistas banking system

The Community Bank will be able to leverage capital and deposits by up to 100 times. The bank will be able to achieve this through aspects of the community’s architecture, as well as its automated system, as detailed below.

First, the community requires that every participant in the community be banked. The Community Bank provides cashless banking. These two aspects have the effect of putting all financial resources in the system at all times and eliminating leaks and capital hoarding, which are consistent with cash-based systems and inadequate access to banking (resorting to alternative methods of banking). As a result, more resources are at the bank’s disposal.

Secondly, limits on the withdrawal of savings, besides preventing bank runs, put additional funds at the disposal of the Community Bank. The bank can plan after forecasting what it will be able to lend, and having a reasonable estimation of how much money will be withdrawn and deposited over a period.

Thirdly, most loans advanced by the bank are spent on real physical assets that have already been rented out, guaranteeing an income that will be used to repay the loan. This greatly minimizes or even eliminates the risk associated with the nonperformance of loans. The business plans that occasion the loans are prepared with the help of near-perfect, updated information, which greatly enhances their chances of success.

The investment options that the loans are directed to are widely diversified. Agencies, villages, and districts use loans to acquire buildings, equipment, raw materials, and educational and sports facilities, among others. They are never issued to individuals, eliminating the chances that loans could be diverted to unintended uses.

How the agency works

Background on presidencies

Every presidency in the community presidency is a four-member entity whose members serve and represent one of the four major demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

These four major demographics are evenly split in ordinary society, with each group accounting for between 23 and 27% of the population, and with regular fluctuations as people’s status changes. The community appreciates that discrimination across all social categories happens based on marital status, other social categorizations notwithstanding; married men are likelier to dominate other demographics, especially single men and single women. Married women are also likelier to have better outcomes in careers and leadership than single women.

The community’s infrastructure promotes equal access to economic and social resources and opportunities. The composition of the community as a whole and those who serve it in the community public service is closely monitored to prevent numerical domination, which can lead to nepotism or unequal access.

Besides marital status, the recruitment to be a participant, and to serve in the public service carefully considers other social categorizations, to ensure racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual groups are well represented in the community as they are in the society in which a community operates. These considerations inform the constitution

Executive presidency, bureau board, and demographic presidencies

The Community Bank Agency is served by an executive presidency, comprised of 4 presidents from the four major demographics, which handles strategy formulation and adjustment, as well as formulating and communicating operational procedures for the agency. Additionally, the presidency also facilitates the setting up of the agency’s automated system and adjusts it as necessary to better achieve its goals.

As part of the Economic Bureau, the executive presidency forms a bureau board with executive presidencies serving the Capital and Commercial Bank agencies. The board acts as a check and monitoring tool for individual presidents and agencies, especially when decisions have far-reaching implications for the community.

Within the bureau board, three presidents from the same demographic form a demographic presidency. There are four such presidencies in the bureau. The demographic presidency works on matters of common interest to a demographic, that cut across the three agencies. The demographic presidency also plays an important role in the mentorship and training of new presidents.

Demographic presidency ADemographic presidency BDemographic presidency CDemographic presidency D
Executive presidency, Community Bank (7)7A7B7C7D
Executive presidency, Capital Bank (8)8A8B8C8D
Executive presidency, Commercial Bank (9)9A9B9C9D

 

Limited partners and branch presidencies

Limited partners and group council

A limited partner is the basic unit in the community. A limited person, usually above 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 16, has been admitted into the community and has invested $20,000 as partnership interest, for which they earn a return. This is regarded as one unit of partnership interest. Over time, a limited partner can add more units of partnership interest, as their business prospers. The more partnership interest units a limited partner has, the more the return they receive from the agency.

A dependent is a minor, or a person living with a disability, under the care of a limited partner. In some instances, a dependent may be a fit adult, who for various reasons is supported by community agencies, and assigned by contract to a limited partner.  Limited partners are responsible for any legal agreements that their dependents enter into, either with community agencies or other participants. Together, limited partners and dependents are referred to as participants.

Participants who are dependents, because they are still minors, can start a business when they reach 12 years of age. This allows them to save up and invest USD 20,000 into the community by their 18th birthday, and possibly as early as 16. Limited partners and their dependents reside in apartments (village buildings). Each apartment has 4 floors, with each floor containing 16 apartments.

Each floor has floor has 7 – 12 limited partners, with each limited partner having 1 – 3 dependents. Each floor therefore has around 25 residents. With four floors, each building has approximately 100 residents. An apartment building also forms a branch.

Captains and branch presidencies

Of the approximately 100 residents in a branch, around 40 of them are limited partners. The limited partners form 4 group councils of around 10 limited partners each. Each group council is diverse, containing different social groups that are reflective of the society within which a community operates. Additionally, a group contains members of the four main demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

The council meets at least quarterly and provides limited partners with a platform to interact and discuss common interest matters to their demographic within their branch. One of the members of the group council serves the group as a captain. Four captains who serve the four groups in an apartment building (branch) form a branch presidency. A branch presidency’s membership is drawn from the four main demographics, for the purposes of representation.

Captains are responsible for recruiting limited partners into the community through their council and by extension, branch. The Human Relations Agency’s automated system develops a clear definition of the sort of recruits that the community needs. It then breaks it down to the most basic social organization in the community – group. The criteria and subsequent recruitment process carefully consider that group’s current composition, that of other groups in a branch, other branches, villages, and the district. Therefore, while the captain has the responsibility to recruit, their discretion is limited by what the system recommends. This ensures that not only does the community achieve and maintain balance in all respects, but it also eliminates any chance that a captain would recruit through discrimination or nepotism. 

A captain does not recruit limited partners only from their demographic. Instead, they work to ensure that their recruits are diverse, considering social categorizations, gender, and social status, in addition to demographic groups.

Captains work in concert with their fellow captains in the branch presidency, and other presidencies in a village and district to ensure that the district is as diverse as possible. They are guided by present data on how diverse their district, village, and branch are, and what needs to be focused on to improve. They are also guided by community bylaws, which expressly require diversity as shown by demographic data about a population from which the community intends to recruit limited partners.

The captain serves as a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, though they also act as an interface between participants and other community agencies. Captains help participants navigate the agency’s automated system and other relevant tools used by the different agencies to deliver services. 10 branches form a village. Each of the branch presidencies also belongs to a specific branch board. Branch boards provide an additional check and balance for captains and branch presidencies. Branches are numbered based on the village’s hub, in the direction of the breezeway one-way traffic direction.

A hub is formed at the intersection of breezeways between villages. Hub buildings are used for a range of commercial activities that need to be closer to residential areas, such as daycare centers, grocery stores, and emergency centers, among others.

A branch’s number determines with whom its presidency will form a branch board. Branch presidencies 1, 2, and 3 form one branch board, as do 4, 5, and 6, and 7, 8, and 9.

Four villages make a district. The last branch presidency in each village in the community (branch presidency 10) combines with three others in their district or cluster of 3 districts to form additional branch boards. The last branch presidencies in villages 1, 2, and 3 in each district make a board. The last branch presidencies in village 4 of each of the 3 districts in a cluster also form a board.

This can be illustrated as follows:

Besides belonging to a branch presidency and a board, every captain belongs to a demographic presidency of 3. A demographic presidency is made up of 3 captains within a board, and who serve the same demographic. The demographic presidency mainly serves an advisory function, safeguarding issues common to the particular demographic, and helping in mentorship and support for incoming captains.

The automated system is designed to help participants with all the help they need in matters related to various agencies. However, should they run into problems, captains assist them in navigating the system, or direct them to relevant contractors who help them at a fee.

Automated system

For most of its duties, especially those that involve interaction with participants, the Community Bank works through an automated system. The automated system helps participants open and maintain bank accounts. The automated system is critical in helping participants move funds through various accounts (checking, savings, term deposits, and finally, partnership interest). It also works with agencies, districts, and villages for their banking needs.

The Community Bank interacts with limited partners who build and run the storehouse on its behalf through automation. Contractors who build the storehouse submit their bids to the system, which carries out the bulk of the vetting process to determine the best contractor. After construction, the storehouse is equipped with smart tools that enable contractors to run the system but also help the agency monitor operations and make any changes that enable the storehouse to operate optimally.

Contractors

The Community Bank relies on contractors to handle aspects of its operations that the automated system, executive presidency, and branch presidencies cannot handle. Contractors build the storehouse and develop the automated system. The agency also hires contractors to help in developing strategies and operational policies, and to monitor implementation as necessary.

Participants can also hire contractors to assist them in navigating the automated system. In addition, contractors working as financial professionals can help participants make better financial decisions and enable them to make the most of the community’s economic model.

Inter-agency cooperation

The 24 community agencies form three columns of 8 agencies each. There is loose collaboration between the agencies in a column. The Community Bank Agency is part of the first column.

The Community Bank Agency issues loans to all agencies in its column. The agency collaborates with the Cropland and Pastures Agency to ensure that all produce is well stored in the mirrored storehouse. The bank also works with Business Planning (agency 19) and IP (agency 13) to encourage the drawing up of quality business plans, and facilitation for businesses and innovators.

The 24 agencies are organized in rows and columns. Beyond working in their bureau (row), agencies also interact extensively within their column. An overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Human and Financial Capital Department is here, and an overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Process and Property Department is here. A more detailed version of this graphic with some historic background is posted here.

Presidencies’ offices, meetings, and quarterly conferences

Offices

The Community Bank Agency’s executive presidency has offices in District Building 7’s first floor, on the western side. Facing them on the eastern side are the offices for trustee presidency and Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidency serving the agency and District 7.

Trustees and the regulatory operational presidencies alternate their offices. Trustees have the offices in building 7 on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the operational presidencies use the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as shown in this timetable:

Building 7/ Community BankBuilding 19/ Business Planning
MondayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
TuesdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency
WednesdayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
ThursdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency

The first floor’s layout is as follows, including other public servants who serve District 7.

Working hours and meetings

All community public servants work from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 8:45 in the morning. The Community Bank Agency’s executive presidency uses this time to interact with other public servants and in some instances, contractors. On Thursday, each presidency (four presidents serving A, B, C, and D) meets for a 45-minute meeting from 9:00 to 9:45 in the morning.

On the last Friday of each quarter, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, each demographic presidency meets. The three-member presidency discusses common bureau matters that are of interest to the demographic they serve. On Saturday, again between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, the whole board meets, where the presidents present their input from the previous day’s demographic presidency meeting, and prepare for the quarterly conference. The aim is to have a cohesive presentation during the quarterly conference but tailored to specific demographic interests.

Quarterly conferences

Quarterly conferences are held on the last Sunday of each quarter, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. During quarterly conferences, each demographic presidency sits together in the same row.

Quarterly conferences are held in District Buildings 5 and 17. Each building has a lower and higher assembly court. The different demographic groups use the assembly courts as follows:

BuildingAssembly courtDemographic
5Lower courtMarried men (A)
5Higher courtMarried Women (B)
17Lower courtSingle women (C)
17Higher courtSingle men (D)

Branch presidencies do not attend quarterly conferences. Instead, they follow the relevant proceedings online alongside other participants.

Each of the four assembly courts has seats for 480 presidents representing the respective demographic. In the diagram below each of the 4 courts is illustrated. The ceiling of each court has an elliptical arch that enables executive presidents, who are the only ones who make a presentation during the conference, to speak without the need to amplify their voices. The 480 seats are easily rotatable to enable presidents to face whoever is speaking.

Each of the four courts has an identical arrangement and number of seats. The exact arrangement of each court can therefore be illustrated using one court, in this case, building 5’s lower court that is used by married men (A).

Within an assembly court, the 480 presidents are arranged in terms of demographic presidencies of 3. The Economic Bureau’s demographic presidency for married men (7A, 8A, and 9A) sits in the highlighted seats. Various district demographic presidencies also sit on the same row as indicated.


[1] These demographic groups are married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

Representations of hierarchical- and matrix-type organizations.
The structure of a hierarchical-type organization is shown on the left, and that of a matrix-type organization is shown on the right.