Bank of America has transformed into a simpler, more efficient company focused on growing the real economy in a way that creates tangible value for our business, our customers and clients and the communities we serve.
Through our strategy of responsible growth, we are driving the economy in sustainable ways—helping to create jobs, develop communities, foster economic mobility and address society’s biggest challenges around the world—while managing risk and providing a return to our customers, clients and our business.
Responsible growth means investing in:
We’re focused on advancing the projects and issues that contribute to real economic growth and mobility—whether that’s supporting the small businesses that are essential to the well-being of local communities or large projects that create jobs and drive the economy. Bank of America’s customers, clients and investors increasingly expect our values to align closely with our business practices.
To help ensure we continue to grow responsibly, Bank of America has established internal governance policies to improve transparency in our products and business practices, while helping customers and clients access the capital they need to achieve their goals. Whether it is helping a family buy their first home and invest for the future or helping companies access the resources they need to grow their business Bank of America is implementing responsible growth on a truly global scale.
Here’s how we’ve grown responsibly by investing in our business:
- We’ve grown our loans to businesses by 12% year over year and increased first mortgage lending by 13% year over year while continuing to promote sustainable homeownership in all our originations activities.
- We’ve made financial education and empowerment a priority because we believe in giving families all the tools they need to make confident financial decisions. Through our partnership with non-profit Khan Academy, we’ve developed Better Money Habits® – a free online financial education resource that pairs Khan Academy’s expertise in online learning with the financial know-how of Bank of America to deliver simple, easy to understand information on a wide range of personal finance topics.
- Our award-winning mobile app doesn’t just make it easier for our customers to do business on the go, wherever they are. It also plays a key role in bringing more customers into the banking economy, educating consumers about their finances and helping them improve their financial lives. In 2016 alone, the app sent 350 million alerts and tips to our customers to help them manage their accounts—including low balance alerts, flagging fraudulent activity and changes to their FICO scores. Mobile banking technology is helping us expand our customer base by enabling customers to open accounts and do their banking whenever it’s convenient for them. This is especially important for unbanked or underbanked households, which are much more likely to rely on their smartphones for online access.
- We’ve become a leader in one of the world’s fasting growing sectors, clean energy financing, through our $125 billion environmental business initiative and underwriting green bonds. Since 2007, we have provided more than $62 billion in financing for low-carbon activities like energy efficiency and sustainable transportation projects.
You can read more about how we’ve strengthened our culture, increased transparency and Business Standards Report.
Bank of America employs more than 200,000 people around the world who serve nearly 50 million customers and clients. Every day, it is our teammates who are most directly responsible for driving responsible growth. They are focused on deepening relationships with our existing customers and clients who view Bank of America as a committed and invested partner in their success.
We are investing in our employees to help them be successful both at home and in the workplace. We believe employees who feel valued and empowered at work deliver better products and services for the individuals and companies we serve.
At Bank of America, our diverse workforce is a source of strength. Our employees bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives, helping us better connect with our customers and clients. Research by McKinsey shows that companies who rank higher in workplace diversity also perform better than their less-diverse peers because they have a broader array of perspectives and experience at the decision table.
By contributing to shared, lasting success for both our employees and our customers and clients, we help ensure the next generation is defined by a thriving and capable workforce, ready to drive continued growth in a rapidly changing economy.
Here’s how we’ve grown responsibly by investing in our people:
- Diversity and inclusion: Our company is more than 50 percent women, with women comprising more than 30 percent of our Board of Directors, and more than 40 percent racially or ethnically diverse. We have also embraced opportunities to have meaningful conversations on LGBT rights, race and gender – including our early opposition to the HB2 legislation in North Carolina, where we are headquartered.
- $15 per hour minimum wage: Bank of America is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour, effective February 1, 2017, for hourly, non-commissioned U.S. employees. These are some of our hardest working employees, and we want our team members to know they are valued. It’s also good for the economies and communities they live in.
- 16 weeks of paid leave to all parents: Regardless of gender, marital status or sexual orientation, we offer 16 paid weeks paid leave – including maternity, paternity and adoptive for all U.S. employees – because we believe that parents who feel like their children are healthy and safe are better, more productive employees.
- Backup childcare, $240 monthly childcare subsidy: Bank of America helps families balance work and family responsibilities with family-friendly policies like access to backup child care when regular child care arrangements are unavailable and a subsidy of up to $240 per month per child for eligible U.S. employees.
- Keeping healthcare costs low for those making less than $50,000: For the last five years, we’ve kept healthcare premiums flat for those employees in the U.S. who earn less than $50,000 a year. We believe that affordable health care is essential to a positive work environment which is why we align health care costs with compensation.
Responsible growth means Bank of America must take an active role in strengthening local economies. But our role extends beyond simply taking care of our customers’ financial needs. It is also about addressing the challenges of our time – such as economic mobility, access to capital and environmental sustainability.
As an example, we’ve worked to create access to capital for women and minority-owned small businesses by partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are designed to create a bridge between banks like ours, and individuals or small businesses that might otherwise have a hard time getting access to capital.
Bank of America is the nation’s largest investor in CDFIs with more than $1 billion invested in 250 local loan centers across the nation. In doing so, we’re able to stay within our risk framework while bringing new participants into the economy. That is the definition of responsible growth.
As we help these small businesses and individuals gain access to capital and participate more regularly in the economy, we can also create jobs in communities that have been hardest hit by the financial crisis and the cycle of incarceration. Whether it is helping at-risk youth or connecting teens to summer jobs, Bank of America has been a leader in creating a more inclusive economy. This isn’t just the right thing to do, but it’s also an important part of our business.
Here’s how we’ve grown responsibly by creating opportunity for economic mobility and advancement in our communities:
- In partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, Bank of America provided capital for more than $10 million in affordable loans to nearly 450 women business owners since 2014, and announced an expansion of $20 million over the next two years. These loans are administered through Community Development Financial Institutions in each of the program’s markets.
- Bank of America works with more than three million small businesses throughout the country. In the first half of 2016, we made over $5.9 billion loans to small businesses, a 16% increase over the previous year.
- To create economic opportunity for women entrepreneurs around the world, Bank of America partners with Vital Voices and the Cherie Blair Foundation to connect nearly 2,000 women entrepreneurs from more than 80 countries with mentors -- 200 of whom are mentored by Bank of America employees.
- Community Development Banking uses a wide variety of financing solutions to help provide affordable housing, improve education, and create jobs, thereby helping local communities thrive. In 2016, Bank of America helped to create 14,400 housing units, including 13,400 units of affordable housing, for individuals, families, veterans, seniors and the previously homeless.
- Bank of America is proud to partner with local organizations through our Neighborhood Builders leadership program to help communities by addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility. Through this vital program, non-profits receive $200,000 in flexible funding, along with leadership development training that helps them become more impactful. Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $180 million in 900 nonprofit organizations across the country, providing leadership resources to nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders.
- In 2016, Bank of America announced a new $40 million commitment to connect 100,000 young people to the skills and employment experiences needed for 21st-century jobs through organizations like the Urban Alliance, Jobs for the Future and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Through our Supplier Diversity program, we are supporting the growth of diverse businesses through our vendor relationships with minorities, individuals with disabilities, businesses owned by veterans and the LGBT community. In 2016, the National Supplier Development Council presented Bank of America with the 2016 Corporation of the Year Award – Financial Services for our commitment to supplier diversity and minority supplier development.
- Through frequent reports and surveys, Bank of America is constantly researching small businesses to help us better understand and serve this dynamic and changing community. In 2017, our Hispanic Business Owner Spotlight found this growing sector of entrepreneurs was very optimistic about the future - with 76% expecting business growth over the next five years and more than half planning to hire more employees.
- In addition, to help address the challenges facing at-risk youth, Bank of America will continue to partner with local mayors across the country to fund paid summer jobs for at-risk teens through the Consumer Bank’s summer jobs program. This effort empowers youth in major metropolitan areas through on-the-job training in financial centers and mentoring from financial center managers.
- In partnership with Social Finance, Inc., Bank of America raised $13.5 million in investor capital for a 5.5 year Pay-for-Success social impact investment. Center for Employment Opportunities is delivering programs in New York State to formerly incarcerated individuals with the goal of reducing prisoner recidivism and increasing employment. Payments to investors are paid by New York State based on the success of the program.
- We’re helping build affordable housing through our Community Development Banking program. This program revitalizes communities across the country and helps neighborhoods become, safe and sustainable. Overall, Community Development Banking has helped create 196,000 affordable housing units since 2005.
- Bank of America’s partnership with the USDA is bringing more than $400 million in low-cost capital to rural areas. The Uplift America Community Facilities Relending Program facilitates the construction of schools, health care centers, child care facilities and other much-needed services in communities with limited infrastructure development and persistent poverty.