ImpactAlpha, December 9 — Several banks have pledged billions this year to advance racial equity in response to the racial justice movement, like Bank of America issuing a $2 billion bond whose proceeds will invest in initiatives that have a positive impact on Black and Brown communities (see, “Bank of America issues $2 billion ‘equality progress’ bond to advance racial equity”).
The latest example: Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank’s $2.8 billion commitment to Black communities over the next three years.
The bank plans to deploy the capital through four channels: $2.2 billion in consumer and commercial lending; $500 million in community development investments; $60 million in financial education and inclusion; and $40 million in philanthropy.
Fifth Third Bank’s strategy includes a $100 million Neighborhood Fund to improve “the social and environmental determinants” in Black neighborhoods. Earlier this year it pledged $100 million to Opportunity Zone projects across 10 states (see, “Fifth Third Bank commits $100 million to impact-focused Opportunity Zone projects”).
Fifth Third Bank is also looking to add new branches in underserved communities, where it can provide services like business and consumer lending. It plans to increase mortgage lending to focus on Black homeowners — and small business lending to support Black entrepreneurs.