Citi Accelerates $1 Billion Investment To Close The Racial Equity Gap

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By Lelsey Green-Rennis

  • Citi and the Citi Foundation accelerate $1B strategic investment to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility
  • Nearly $5T could be added to the U.S. GDP over the next five years if racial gaps for Black people are closed

Citigroup’s (C -0.72%) Action for Racial Equity is on track to far exceed its original $1.1 billion commitment by 2023. The companies three-year comprehensive approach is providing greater access to banking and credit in communities of color, increase investment in Black-owned businesses, expand affordable housing and homeownership among Black Americans, and advance anti-racist practices in its company and the financial industry. Citi is the nation’s fourth largest bank by asset size and their pledge to address key factors of economic racial injustice makes a statement.  

Why This Matters: The coronavirus pandemic and social justice demonstrations against the killing of Black Americans unveiled centuries of systemic racism, forcing our nation to confront past and present injustices. Specifically, Black households account for 13.4% of the U.S. population but hold just 4% of the total household wealth. At the center of discussions around wealth inequities is the financial industry. The Action for Racial Equity plan includes $50 million in impact investing capital for Black entrepreneurs, $350 million in procurement opportunities for Black-owned business suppliers, and $50 million in growth capital to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).

Citi is also among the first 50 companies and first major U.S. bank to participate in the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Black Equity at Work Certification. This initiative holds companies accountable for making progress around equity.

What’s Next: A 2020 Citi-sanctioned report found that nearly $5 trillion could be added to the U.S. GDP over the next five years if racial gaps for Black people were closed. In addition to strategies to address wealth access, Citi is scrutinizing its own long standing policies. The bank says it will develop standards for inclusive software design that eliminate bias, expand capital market activities with minority-owned broker dealers and increase representation of people of color on Citi accounts and within its leadership teams.  

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CONTRIBUTOR

Lesley Green-Rennis

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