Putting forth over $1 billion in strategic initiatives, Citi and the Citi Foundation are joining other large entities across America to help narrow the racial wealth gap and boost economic mobility.
The pledge stems from Citi’s Action for Racial Equity, an effort to provide greater access to banking and credit in communities of color. It also intends to boost investment in Black-owned businesses, expand homeownership for Black Americans, and advance anti-racist practices in the financial services industry.
Citi core businesses and the Citi Foundation are making these promises over the next three years:
- $550 million to support homeownership for people of color and affordable housing by minority developers.
- $350 million in procurement opportunities for Black-owned business suppliers.
- $100 million to support Minority Depository Institutions’ growth and revenue generation.
- $100 million in Citi Foundation grants to support community change agents addressing racial equity.
- $50 million in additional impact investing capital for Black entrepreneurs.
“Addressing racism and closing the racial wealth gap is the most critical challenge we face in creating a fair and inclusive society and we know that more of the same won’t do,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat stated in a news release. “We are bringing together all the capabilities of our institution—our people, our lines of business, our balance sheet, and our philanthropy—like never before to combat the impact of racism in our economy. This is a moment to stand up and be counted, and Citi is committed to leading the way and investing in communities of color to build wealth and strong financial futures.”
Citigroup, the New York-based financial services giant, uses Citi as a brand name.
”If the U.S. had closed key racial gaps for Black Americans in wages, housing, education and investment 20 years ago, $16 trillion could have been added to the U.S. economy, the Citi GPS report “Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps, shows.
The report indicates if these gaps are closed today, $5 trillion could be added to U.S. GDP over the next five years.
“We are in the midst of a national reckoning on race and words are not enough. We need awareness, education, and action that drive results,” said Mark Mason, Citi’s CFO and one of the industry’s most senior Black executives. “The commitments we are announcing today are just the starting point. By harnessing the central role Citi plays in local economies and the financial lives of Americans, we are determined to help close the racial wealth gap and help build an anti-racist economy and society.”
As part of Action for Racial Equity, Citi claims its businesses are focused on four key outcomes: Expand banking and access to credit in communities of color. Invest in Black entrepreneurship. Invest in affordable housing and promote the growth of Black homeownership. Combatting racist practices in the financial services industry.
The Citi Foundation is making a new $5 million grant to Living Cities to provide U.S. mayors with access to technical expertise, training, and seed capital for pilot initiatives that address racial wealth and income gaps. The foundation also is expanding employability and entrepreneurship efforts serving Black youth as part of a new three-year $100 million investment in its successful Pathways to Progress initiative.
“Citi is going beyond talking about discrimination by implementing concrete strategies to address longstanding inequities in communities of color,” Kristen Clarke, president & executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, stated. “Citi is charting a course that we hope will be replicated throughout the sector. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”
Certain Action for Racial Equity commitments, including portions of Citi’s investments in minority developers and in Minority Depository Institutions, will require approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
See more details on Action for Racial Equity, here.