How we're evolving
We’ve tackled a number of major issues facing our industry. Some of the actions we have taken are summarized below.
Fairness and Responding to Consumers
We're planning to expand our industry-leading Clarity Commitment® statements. Eliminating overdraft fees for everyday debit card transactions at point-of-sale and introducing easy-to-read banking statements were just initial steps toward upholding this commitment. We will continue working to better understand what customers want and need, and translate that into solutions to help them manage their financial decisions.
Lending to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Credit for small and medium-sized businesses is critical for the U.S. economic recovery. We are at the forefront of helping small and medium-sized businesses weather the sluggish economy and position themselves for growth. We're increasing our lending to small and medium-sized businesses by $5 billion and extending credit through other innovative approaches such as loans and investments to Community Development Financial Institutions.
Extending Credit and Helping Distressed Customers
Lending responsibly and helping to create successful homeowners are critical to strengthening the economy. We extended more than $150 billion in mortgage credit to customers in 2011. Approximately one-third of our loans are made for low-and moderate-income customers. Through our industry-leading Clarity Commitment and our work with nearly 600 HUD-approved nonprofit organizations, we help consumers make sound decisions about homeownership. We are making significant progress in addressing mortgage-related issues and positioning the business to be the finest home loan provider for our customers.
We’re working hard to help customers at risk of foreclosure. In fact, since 2008, we have helped more than 1.3 million customers avoid foreclosure, including more than one million home loan modifications. We are reaching out in areas most affected by the housing downturn, opening 50 Customer Assistance Centers and participating in more than 900 outreach events since 2009. When foreclosure is unavoidable, we help customers transition from their homes, providing nearly $200 million in relocation assistance since 2008. We continue to develop innovative partnerships with cities and nonprofits to stabilize at-risk neighborhoods and revitalize impacted communities.
We were early supporters of comprehensive regulatory reform. We support many of the steps that have been taken to better protect consumers in the financial services sector, including the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We also have been vigorous in defending shareholder and associate interests. If properly implemented, reform should contribute to future stability of the financial system.
Size, Stability and Accountability
We're working to build a “fortress balance sheet” by strengthening liquidity, credit reserve positions, asset quality and overall capital levels and have done so since 2010. Our capital and liquidity are at record levels and on par with or better than our peers.
We responded to the charge that we are “too big to fail” by reinforcing the foundation of our business. We conducted a thorough overhaul of our internal governance processes to make us more accountable and transparent, and we introduced a new risk management framework across our business. We acknowledge and are acting on the great responsibility for ensuring financial stability that interconnectedness demands. We also share a responsibility of citizenship in the many communities in which we operate and our employees live and work. Despite reporting a loss in 2010, we paid more than $2 billion in U.S. state and local, payroll, property, sales and use, and other taxes. These taxes, which are included in our operating expenses, are a significant source of funding for U.S. federal, state and local governments.
Executive Compensation and Incentives
Compensation across the financial services industry continues to be a topic of global debate. We have a longstanding pay-for-performance philosophy that ties executive performance to the performance of our company, lines of business and individual executive officers over the short–and long term. In addition, consistent with our compensation principles, our executive compensation program provides a mix of salary, benefits and incentives paid over time. We also take into account the manner in which results are achieved, including an evaluation of adherence to risk and compliance policies and other values of our company.
Investing in the Environment
Environmental sustainability continues to be an issue of critical importance to us and those we serve. We recognize our responsibility to take action to reduce our environmental footprint, while having an opportunity to use our business resources to enable our clients, customers and employees to reduce their own environmental impacts. We invested $4 billion toward environmental business in 2010, delivering $11.6 billion since 2007, by financing a wide range of projects on behalf of our clients. From landmark distributed solar deals to launching a socially responsible investment portfolio for our wealth management clients, we are expanding the scope of our work to correspond with the expansion of environmental opportunities across almost all business sectors.
Read what our CEO has to say about how we are making financial lives better, one connection at a time.
We deliver for our customers, clients and shareholders. We share a passion for serving the financial needs of people, companies and institutional investors.
We are customer-driven, building a business model that enables us to serve customers’ financial needs in ways that are seamless and efficient.