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 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 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 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 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 we’ve increased mortgages with existing Bank of America clients by 13% year over year due in large to a simplified and more transparent mortgage process.
- 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.
- 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.
Read more about how we’ve strengthened our culture and increased transparency in Our Business Practices.
Bank of America employs more than 200,000 people around the world who serve nearly 50 million clients. Every day, it is our teammates who are most directly responsible for driving responsible growth. They are focused on deepening relationships with our 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 for the individuals and companies we serve.
At Bank of America, our diverse workforce and inclusive workplace is a source of strength. Our employees bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives, helping us better connect with our clients. By contributing to shared, lasting success for both our employees and our 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: More than 50 percent of our global workforce is female and 40 percent of our U.S.-based workforce is from a racially or ethnically diverse background. We have also embraced opportunities to have meaningful conversations on LGBT rights, race and gender – continuing our support of non-discrimination.
- Increasing our minimum wage: Effective February 2017, we increased our minimum wage for hourly, non-commissioned U.S. employees to $15 per hour. 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.
- Support for parents and caregivers: We offer paid parental leaves – including maternity, paternity and adoptive – for all U.S. employees from 12 to 16 weeks to bond with a new child. Parents also have the flexibility to plan their leave when it works best for their family within the first 12 months after the child arrives. We also offer benefits and programs such as adoption reimbursement, back-up care, child care reimbursement and elder care.
- Managing healthcare costs: We believe that affordable health care is essential to a positive work environment which is why we align health care costs with compensation. For the last five years, we’ve kept healthcare premiums flat – with no increases – for those employees in the U.S. who earn less than $50,000 a year.
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 clients’ 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.