For the fourth year, Fortune has recognized Bank of America on its "Change the World" List for the company’s leadership and long-standing support of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and for the impact of the additional financing it channeled through that network as part of the Payment Protection Program (PPP). Bank of America was also recognized by Fortune for its recent $50 million equity investment in minority depository institutions (MDIs) as part of its $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. The company is the top global bank and appears at No. 15 on Fortune’s annual list, which this year recognizes 53 companies for their innovative business strategies that have positively impacted the world.
“With the ability to blend philanthropic, public-sector and private sources of capital, our work with CDFIs is a force multiplier connecting us to thousands of small business owners across the U.S.,” said Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane, who leads the company’s environmental, social and governance, sustainable finance, capital deployment, and public policy efforts. “Our CDFI network responded quickly and acted as financial first responders in the communities hit hardest by the coronavirus, and provided the critical financing needed to help our local economies survive.”
Fortune's “Change the World” list is built on the premise that the profit motive can inspire companies to tackle society’s unmet needs. The 2020 list stresses a crucial corollary: No business succeeds alone. Collaboration among companies, even among rivals, is a common thread in many of the stories. Fortune states, “As we face unprecedented collective challenges — a global pandemic, climate change, profound income inequality — cooperation has become a business superpower.”
Fortune honored Bank of America for its quick response to the economic impact of the coronavirus by exceeding its original commitment of $250 million to CDFIs as part of the PPP, providing more than $254 million in additional capital to this network of lenders and MDIs in an effort to facilitate lending through the PPP. This included $50 million in deposits to minority-owned banks identified by the National Banking Association. Bank of America also provided $10 million in operating philanthropic grants to help CDFIs and MDIs cover expenses and other direct costs to keeping their doors open.
“Through our robust partnerships with CDFIs and MDIs, we are making a positive, on-the-ground impact in low- and moderate-income communities across the U.S.,” said Dan Letendre, CDFI Lending and Investing executive at Bank of America. “By working with these community lenders, Bank of America is not only empowering individual businesses, but also lifting up the communities they are part of by offering critical services, jobs and economic opportunity.”
As part of the company’s broader commitment to responsible growth, Bank of America’s work with CDFIs extends back to 1995. These unique partnerships create new pathways for deploying capital to many of the businesses and communities most in need of economic revitalization and opportunity – including women and people of color – by circumventing historical barriers, such as geographic restrains. With a CDFI portfolio of $1.6 billion, and 255 partner CDFIs across 50 states, Bank of America is the largest private lender to CDFIs in the U.S. – providing financing for affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities across health care, education, child care and other social services.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Kelly Sapp, Bank of America