Citi, Citi Foundation commit $1.15 billion to close racial wealth gap

Citi, Citi Foundation commit $1.15 billion to close racial wealth gap

Citi and the Citi Foundation have announced commitments totaling more than $1 billion to address the racial wealth gap and improve economic mobility in the United States.

With the aim of providing greater access to banking and credit in communities of color, increasing investment in Black-owned businesses, expanding homeownership among Black Americans, and advancing anti-racist practices in the financial services industry, the Action for Racial Equity initiative will offer growth capital, preferential financing, expanded procurement spending, and technical assistance to Black-owned businesses, minority depository institutions, and the communities they serve. The bank also plans to implement new internal policies and will expand its capital market activities with minority-owned broker dealers and strengthen due diligence processes for project-related financing, with a focus on environmental and social impacts on communities of color.

Through the initiative, the bank will commit $550 million to support homeownership among people of color and affordable housing development by minority developers; $350 million in procurement opportunities for Black-owned business suppliers; $50 million in additional impact investing capital targeting Black entrepreneurs; and $100 million to support the growth and revenue generation of minority depository institutions. For its part, the Citi Foundation will award $100 million in grants in support of community change agents working to advance racial equity in their communities, states, and across the nation.

"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 Citi CFO Mark Mason, 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."

(Photo credit: GettyImages)