Putting responsibility into practice

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations, and governments with a full range of banking, investment management and other financial and risk management products and services. Since the beginning of 2010, we have made significant progress transforming our company into a simpler, more efficient enterprise by selling non-core assets, continuing to manage risk exposures and building capital. We serve approximately 47 million consumers, clients and small businesses.

Our Code of Conduct guides us in all that we do. The Code, along with our Vendor Code of Conduct and Human Rights Statement, is grounded in our values, and outlines our business practices and policies, as well as professional and personal conduct that all employees are expected to adopt and uphold.

Our Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework (ESRPF) articulates how we manage and govern environmental and social risks across our business, as well as outlining the environmental and social issues most relevant to us. We recognize the impact they can have on our communities, customers, clients, vendors, employees and company, and take our role in managing those risks very seriously.

To learn more about how we manage environmental and social risks visit our Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework page. To learn more about our broader corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, please read our Business Standards Report that outlines the way we do business with an ESG Addendum of key fiscal 2015 metrics and case studies.

Our responsible business practices have a direct, positive impact on two areas critical to our growth:

  • Our strength and stability as a global financial institution
  • Our capacity to meet the financial needs of our customers and clients in all phases of their lives
Learn more about our recent efforts in these two areas:

Strengthening our long-term stability

We have defined our core mission as making people's financial lives better by building closer connections with stakeholders, including our customers, clients, investors, regulators, community partners and employees. Our focus has been on strengthening our financial foundation, simplifying and integrating the company, and working to resolve legacy issues, including litigation, which arose as a result of the economic downturn. We are continuing to improve the products, services, advice and expertise our customers and clients need to buy houses, grow businesses, manage their finances and improve their lives.

Assisting customers

To help customers better understand financial products, we have enhanced access to financial education, engaged in hundreds of community outreach events and partnered with nonprofits to focus on the most pressing social and economic issues. We also improved the clarity and transparency of product information through our Clarity Commitment™ for mortgages, home equity loans and credit card accounts. We worked with Pew Charitable Trusts to launch an enhanced checking Clarity Statement™, a two-page document that clearly and concisely explains the fees and policies related to the specific checking account being opened.

We also created a companion guide to help low- and moderate-income and multicultural customers manage credit appropriately, and provided more information on our Home Loans website outlining our financial education initiatives for homebuyers and homeowners.  

How we support homeownership

As part of our stakeholder engagement with leading community organizations and our customers, we have taken steps to modify our mortgage lending practices. These include aligning with the NAACP’s Responsible Lending Principles, creating simple and transparent financial documents, and increasing levels of staff support for homeowners.   

To strike a better balance between the safety and soundness of our products and the needs of consumers, we also made credit requirement changes to some of our products. These changes were based on our understanding that some home loan customers, particularly low- and moderate-income individuals, are more susceptible to economic downturns. Our revisions also reflect an anticipation of proposed regulatory standards.

Responsible Home Lending

Buying a home is still the biggest investment most people will ever make. We recognize our role is to provide responsible loan products, transparent resources to help customers understand how these work, and expertise to provide one-on-one guidance through the process for their personal situation. Our experienced mortgage loan specialists are ready to help clients find a loan they can comfortably afford. They have access to a variety of loan options to serve you - whether you are a first-time homebuyer, a buyer with a modest income, an experienced homebuyer, or an affluent buyer with complex financial needs.

Education is one of our top priorities. We foster partnerships and continuously create opportunities for sharing information with real estate professionals so that together we are providing the tools and resources to help consumers make more informed homeownership choices. Bank of America offers a comprehensive array of education tools and resources to help consumers achieve financial literacy, establish or rehabilitate their credit, prepare for homeownership and find solutions to sustain homeownership. Our teammates connect with you to make the home loans process more clear and straightforward. Your Bank of America mortgage loan specialist will walk you through your loan options, and provide competitive rates, and tailored guidance to your unique situation.1

We are committed to sharing information with you about Bank of America resources, tools, products and services to empower real estate professionals to succeed. Here are a few of our offerings:

  • Bank of America Down Payment Resource Center: This online tool helps first-time homebuyers search for down payment and other cost-saving programs we participate in that can be used in combination with a low down payment mortgage to make buying a home more affordable.
  • Home Loan Guide: This online resource helps homebuyers understand the steps involved in purchasing or refinancing a home. We also have many educational articles available to help explain the mortgage process each step along the way, so homebuyers can make decisions with confidence.
  • Connect to Own®: We partner with hundreds of nonprofit organizations to offer Connect to Own®, an alliance for homeownership, which delivers pre-purchase homebuyer education and training for first-time homebuyers.
  • Financial education: Throughout the year, Bank of America sponsors financial education workshops in local markets to help consumers make more informed financial decisions. Clients can learn about budgeting, preparing for homeownership, understanding and managing credit and more. If you aren’t able to attend one of our workshops in person, we have financial education videos and webinars available for you to watch at a time that’s convenient for you. Additionally, we offer education resources, tools and advice to refine and improve financial plans and portfolio performance.

What we offer to customers in need of mortgage assistance

Assisting mortgage customers
We’ve helped more than 2 million mortgage customers stay in their homes through loan modifications, or avoid foreclosure through short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosures. This includes more than 1.5 million modifications and extinguishments through all available programs and more than 500,000 short sales and deeds-in-lieu completed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure since January 2008. In addition, many more customers reduced their monthly payments by refinancing their mortgages.

Learn more about homeowner programs at Bank of America Home Loan Assistance

Outreach efforts
We provide face-to-face assistance to individuals and families in communities impacted by the housing crisis to better understand their unique situations and deliver solutions to meet their needs. We have met in person with more than 400,000 homeowners.

How we help stabilize communities through property donations

We remain focused on helping homeowners stay in their homes whenever possible and helping neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure and property abandonment to recover. As part of that, Bank of America is committed to revitalizing communities and creating and preserving strong, vibrant neighborhoods by partnering with strategic nonprofit organizations and city officials to provide housing solutions for families in need, identifying barriers and developing strategies/programs that address neighborhood blight, and offer innovative owner occupancy initiatives.

To help revitalize communities, Bank of America has donated more than 5,700 homes and properties, including donations in partnership with municipalities, land banks, Habitat for Humanity and other community-based nonprofits. This includes more than 1,900 homes donated through military veteran-support organizations and other nonprofit, community-based groups.

How we support the U.S. military

Bank of America is committed to connecting our service members and veterans to the things they need to transition back into civilian life. That includes funding for charitable organizations, offering banking services and financial education for military families, recruiting and hiring veterans, and donating homes to returning service members and military families. With more than 1,900 homes donated, we exceeded our three-year goal to make 1,000 properties available through military veteran-support organizations and other nonprofit, community-based groups that provide housing to military veterans and their families, including Military Warriors Support Foundation and Operation Homefront. We employ nearly 10,000 veterans, guard and reservists, have hired more than 6,000 veterans since 2011, and over the next several years will hire at least 10,000 more veterans for positions throughout the company.

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Hear From Our CEO

Hear From Our CEO 

Read what our CEO has to say about how we conduct our global business and hold ourselves accountable to our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which we do business.

Our Operating Principles

Our Operating Principles 

We are customer-driven, building a business model that enables us to serve customers' financial needs in ways that are easy, seamless and efficient.

Our Forward-Looking Approach

Our Forward-Looking Approach 

We're tackling a number of major issues facing our industry. We embarked on a series of significant changes since 2010 to strengthen our business and improve relationships with customers and clients.