Inclusive Finance Engagement Initiative
Amid widespread unrest in 2020, US banks made commitments to address systemic racism. This was notable because banks have access to critical levers that impact the financial outcomes of individuals and communities that are among the root causes of systemic inequity.
On Juneteenth 2020, we promised to rededicate and refocus ourselves to advance antiracism and build an inclusive future. Since then, we have turned these pledges into practices, using investor capital and investor voice to build and rebuild economic systems and advance access to finance.
In 2022, as part of our Inclusive Finance Engagement Initiative, we opened a new dialogue with 10 of the largest U.S. banks, including PNC, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and others, on advancing access to finance and inclusion. Our engagements focused on banks’ racial equity commitments throughout the value chain, including governance, community stakeholder engagement, assessment of business model risks and opportunities, bespoke financial programs, and partnerships.
Throughout our engagement, we found many US banks are taking genuine steps toward greater inclusion. However, the level of ambition is not yet appropriate to the monumental challenge, as programs fail to adequately address systemic factors. Boston Common’s forthcoming report on the Inclusive Finance Engagement Initiative will provide guidance to investors and banks to integrate systemic awareness to support and raise the urgency of antiracism efforts.