PNC pledges $1 billion to fight racism

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PNC Financial Services will spend at least $1.05 billion to address systemic racism in the United States.

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh-based company became the latest large bank to announce a financial commitment to help address racial and income inequality in the U.S. Its announcement came two weeks after two other large banks — Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C., and U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis — made similar pledges.

The $2.6 trillion-asset Bank of America pledged $1 billion over four years, while the $543 billion-asset U.S. Bancorp committed $116 million this year.

“We are living in one of the most important civil rights movements of our time,” PNC Chairman and CEO William Demchak said in a news release. “Each of us has a role to play in combating racism and discrimination and PNC is committed to driving real change in areas in which we can make the greatest impact.”

The May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man in Minneapolis who died after being pinned to the ground for nearly nine minutes by a white police officer, led to waves of protests across the globe decrying racial inequality and police brutality. Scores of executives at American corporations, including banks, responded by publicly condemning racism and vowing to foster greater racial equality within their own organizations and enhance economic equity in the communities they serve.

On Friday many banks, including the $412 billion-asset PNC, will close early to observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. June 19 marks the date in 1865 when members of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to tell enslaved African Americans they were free and the Civil War was over.

“We have a responsibility to act — a responsibility to each other, our clients, communities and shareholders,” Demchak said.

PNC said its commitment will support community development financing and capital for neighborhood revitalization, consumers and small businesses, as well as charitable donations to organizations that work to end racism and promote social justice. It is also expanding its matching gift program to include qualifying nonprofits that support economic empowerment and social justice educational efforts.

In addition, the bank will expand its employee volunteer program, which gives workers up to 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer in the community, including work for nonprofits that support economic empowerment and social justice.

Demchak said the bank is “also committed to an intensified focus on the recruitment, retention and advancement of African American talent, a more comprehensive and sustained effort to create a more inclusive culture at PNC and a focus on internal systems to improve racial equality.”

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Racial Bias Diversity and equality PNC Financial Services Group Bank of America U.S. Bancorp