Citi and the Citi Foundation have announced the initial results generated from their $1billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the United States.
Announced in September 2020, Citi’s Action for Racial Equity is a comprehensive approach to 1) providing greater access to banking and credit in communities of colour, 2) increasing investment in Black-owned businesses, 3) expanding homeownership among Black Americans, and 4) advancing anti-racist practices in the financial services industry.
There is clear momentum behind this work across Citi to address the barriers that impede communities of colour from building generational wealth. Among the progress detailed below, Citi has allocated over half of its $100 million commitment to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that are expanding banking and credit access in communities of colour. Citi will invest more than $200million—out of a $550million three-year commitment to affordable housing—in five equity funds that will be co-managed by Black investment managers to preserve multi-family affordable rental housing in cities all across the country.
Citi is collaborating with the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose to provide college savings accounts for public school students, while also working with the National Urban League to offer the Citi Access Account Package that includes no-fee savings and checking products through its network.
“Action for Racial Equity was meant to be a three-year goal, but our teams have matched the urgency these issues deserve, making incredible progress towards that goal in just over six months,” said Jane Fraser, Citi CEO, with Mark Mason, Citi CFO adding, “The financial inequality and other systemic problems people of colour face will not go away until we confront them head-on—and that’s what we’re working towards here at Citi. We are focused on ensuring that people of colour have the same access to the financial tools and resources that benefit other groups. Doing so is a critical component of the work that needs to be done to close the racial wealth gap.”
“Children have unlimited potential, and the last thing that should hold them back is the future cost of education,” said Nuny Martinez, Los Angeles City Council President (Council District 6). “I’m proud that the City of Los Angeles has partnered with Citi, LA County and the LA Unified School District to create Opportunity LA- Investing in LA’s Children to give every child in Los Angeles the critical building block for economic success and through this, helping to close racial wealth gaps.”
Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League said, “With no monthly service fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements, Citi Access Accounts help remove barriers to economic opportunity. We look forward to sharing this beneficial tool with participants in financial literacy programs at Urban League affiliates, who serve as first-responders in the fight for racial and economic justice.”
Another notable investment Citi have made is in MoCaFi. Wole Coaxum, Founder and CEO said, ““In our conversations with Citi, it became clear that we had a shared vision for bringing financial equity and sustainability to communities of colour. So we’re thrilled Citi has invested in our company and look forward to continued progress in the future.”
As part of Action for Racial Equity, Citi’s businesses are focused on four key outcomes:
Goal #1: Expand banking and access to credit in communities of colour.
Goal #2: Invest in Black entrepreneurship
Goal #3: Invest in affordable housing and promote the growth of Black homeownership
Goal #4: Strengthen Citi’s policies and practices in order to become an anti-racist institution