BofA Backs Black-Owned Banks in $300 Million Equality Drive

BofA Backs Black-Owned Banks in $300 Million Equality Drive

(Bloomberg) — Bank of America Corp. invested $50 million in three Black-owned banks as part of its $1 billion pledge over four years to advance racial equality.

The second-largest U.S. lender took equity stakes of about 5% in three minority depository institutions: First Independence Corp. in Detroit, New Orleans-based Liberty Financial Services Inc. and SCCB Financial Corp. in Columbia, South Carolina, it said in a statement. Bank of America also is in talks with other lenders owned by African Americans and Hispanics and serving low- and moderate-income communities that are expected to be completed within a year.

“The idea is to create more jobs, more lending to businesses that will flourish in the longer term, and to create wealth for minorities and people of color,” Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said in an interview.

Other commitments include:

Direct equity investments totaling $200 million in Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses over four years.Grants of $25 million, which have already been completed, for jobs initiatives for 11 community colleges that serve predominantly Black and Latino students, and 10 public historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions.Community outreach totaling $25 million, including providing 5 million masks to communities in need in the past 60 days.

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