INSTITUTE INDEX: Bank of America's disconnect on racial inequality

Bank of America recently pledged to donate $1 billion over the next four years to address racial and economic inequality, but political spending by the company's employee PAC program is at odds with that goal. (Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr.)

Amount Charlotte, North Carolina-headquartered Bank of America pledged to donate over the next four years to community programs and small businesses to address economic and racial inequality that's been exacerbated by COVID-19, saying that the nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd have "created a sense of true urgency": $1 billion

Amount in profit Bank of America made in 2019 alone: $27.4 billion

Amount Bank of America agreed to pay in 2011 to settle charges that its Countrywide subsidiary had discriminated against non-white customers by charging them higher fees and interest rates during the housing boom: $335 million

Amount the company was fined in 2013 for discriminating against black job candidates for over two decades: $2.2 million

Number of African-American job seekers who experienced racial discrimination at Bank of America's Charlotte offices from 1993 to 2005: 1,100

Year in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Bank of America with lending discrimination in response to a complaint by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which conducted "secret shopper" tests at a branch in Charleston, South Carolina, and found that Hispanic applicants were offered inferior loans: 2017

Year in which Bank of America was sued for allegedly failing to provide routine maintenance of homes it owned in working- and middle-class African American and Latino neighborhoods in 37 metro areas while consistently maintaining similar homes in comparable white neighborhoods: 2018

Though Bank of America and its affiliates don't make direct corporate contributions to candidates, total amount the various employee PACs the company runs have donated collectively to the lawmakers known to belong as of 2019 to the secretive, far-right House Freedom Caucus, whose leaders have among other things blocked Democratic efforts to probe state-level voting rights issues: over $53,000

Among the top individual recipients of Bank of America PACs' political giving, rank of U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Republican representing Western North Carolina's 10th District and the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee: 1

Score McHenry got on the NAACP's 2018 legislative report card, on a scale of rock-bottom 0 to a perfect 100: 9

Date on which McHenry voted against a House resolution condemning President Trump for racist statements attacking four congresswomen of color: 7/16/2019

Rank of U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which handles cyber security among other issues important to the financial industry, among the top individual recipients of Bank of America PACs' giving over time: 2

Year in which Nunes posed for a picture with a supporter belonging to the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group, as the man flashed a hand gesture with racist implications: 2018

Nunes' 2018 grade from the NAACP, on a 0 to 100 scale: 13

Rank of Nunes' campaign among the top recipients of Bank of America PAC contributions in the current election cycle: 1

(Click on figure to go to source.)