Re: The Aug. 1 Maine Voices column by Randall Parr and Carmen Lavertu, on the presumed advantages to its state by the Bank of North Dakota:

I have 53 years of banking experience, including about 14 years in senior positions in Maine insured financial institutions. Full disclosure: I have testified before committees of the Maine Legislature against the establishment of a bank owned by the state of Maine. At no time was my testimony “fallacious,” as the column described the statements made by those who spoke against such legislation.

The column’s authors cite the Bank of North Dakota’s annual report as the source for their comments. I have perused the bank’s 2015 annual report and cannot find a citation for the “annual return of 17.1 percent in 2015.” The closest I can get is to compute a return on equity of 17.4 percent, using 2015’s net income and the Dec. 31, 2015, equity amount.

If the 17 percent is a return on equity, it is compared with a recent Maine state treasurer’s report showing an “average annual investment yield (of) 0.72 percent.” Most banking analysts would not attempt to equate a return-on-equity ratio to an annual investment yield ratio. I suggest that the authors are trying to compare apples to eggplants.

Note 13 to the BND annual report says, among other things: “All state funds and funds of all state penal, education and industrial institutions must be deposited in the Bank under state law.” The annual report shows interest-bearing deposits (presumably all state funds) of $5,160,878,000. The year’s deposit interest expense was $12,814,000.

A simple computation shows that BND’s average interest rate paid was less than 0.25 percent. This was over 0.47 percent less than the 0.72 percent average rate that the Maine treasurer earned. With that pool of over $5 billion, Maine’s treasurer would have earned an additional $23.9 million for North Dakota.

Obviously, the authors are proponents of a state bank and anxious for its presumed benefits. They should not delude themselves or the Maine public with fallacious arguments.