As protests across the nation continue, the Bank of America has announced a $1 billion USD contribution to help local communities address economic and racial inequality.
In a press release, the second-largest American bank revealed a four-year commitment of additional support for people and communities of color that have experienced a greater impact from the ongoing health crisis.
“Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic,” said CEO Brian Moynihan. “The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more.”
The contribution will build on economic mobility and workforce development programs that Bank of America already supports in local markets, but will also see a greater focus on that work, accelerate resources and develop an emphasis on health services in communities of color. Bank of America’s plans will be executed by the company’s 90 local U.S. market presidents and non-U.S. country executives responsible for developing fitting opportunities.
Bank of America’s initiative adds to its pledge of $100 million USD to support its nonprofit partners, $250 million USD to assist with lending to the smallest and minority-owned businesses and follows the death of George Floyd who was killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.
Although the press release from Bank of America does not directly address Floyd’s murder or the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, a number of Wall Street CEOs have stepped up to show their support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Influential heads of American financial firms like Jamie Dimon (CEO of JPMorgan Chase), Mark Mason (CFO of Citigroup), David Solomon (CEO of Goldman Sachs), Charlie Scharf (CEO of Wells Fargo) and more have expressed horror, anger and empathy in staff emails and social media posts.