Citi To Put Over $1B Into Fighting Racial Wealth Inequality

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Citi will take action to help close the racial wealth gap in the U.S., the company said in a blog post Wednesday (Sept. 23), written by incoming CEO Jane Fraser.

The company’s new approach is titled Action for Racial Equity, and it will encompass a number of initiatives to “attack the barriers that impede communities of color from building generational wealth,” according to the post.

Citi said it will begin through making low-cost, high-quality banking products available for racially diverse households, which will help traditionally underserved youths on a path to college.

The post stated Citi plans to expand its Citi Impact Fund and help more Black entrepreneurs get funding through an expansion of spending for diverse suppliers.

To tackle the homeownership crisis for minority communities, Citi said it will increase access to mortgages and support minority developers who are building affordable or workplace housing.

Citi said all of the initiatives represent $1 billion in strategic investments for the next three years.

“By changing the ways we work for the long term and by setting an example for others to follow, we expect capital from all directions to flow into minority-owned businesses and communities of color,” the post stated, adding that the increased focus on equality could add “$5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over the next five years.”

Citi announced this month that Fraser will become the company’s new CEO. She will be the first female CEO of a U.S. mega-bank, PYMNTS reported. She has been with the company for 16 years and took her place as head of the consumer banking division last year.

Citi, feeling the effects of the pandemic as the rest of the world has, said in April that a second wave of COVID-19 infections could have perilous effects. Citi Private Bank’s David Bailin said that, combined with the lack of a vaccine for some time to come, could make the financial situation tenuous.

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