Action for Racial Equity – One Year Later
By Jane Fraser, CEO November 10, 2021 09:00 AM
Following the murder of George Floyd, we felt an incredible responsibility to not only say something, but to act. In the midst of a global pandemic that disproportionately impacted communities of color, we had to take a hard look at ourselves and our own contribution to the status quo. More importantly, we had to use our power – as individuals, as a company and as an industry – to turn the lessons of tragedy into a lasting transformative movement toward greater equality.
Today, I'm proud to share that as part of our Action for Racial Equity commitment, Citi has now invested $1 billion in strategic initiatives to provide greater access to banking and credit in communities of color, increase investment in Black-owned businesses, expand affordable housing and homeownership among Black Americans, and advance anti-racist practices in our own company and in the financial services industry. We are on track to exceed the $1.1 billion goal we set in 2020, years ahead of schedule – and we are not about to stop there. We are committed to keep going and investing significant additional resources to help close the racial wealth gap.
Over the last year, we have engaged every level of our business to think and act in support of equity and the goal of closing the racial wealth gap and increasing economic mobility in the United States. We've made great progress over the year and continue to deepen our commitments with new initiatives to support racial equity. For example, we are creating a Diverse Financial Institutions Unit, a dedicated team within Citi that will serve as a hub to lead and expand engagement with Minority Depository Institutions, driving investment and revenue generating opportunities. Citi Global Wealth is also embedding racial equity in asset management, including a goal to onboard 5-15 diverse owned or managed fund managers to Citi's platform, with $200 million of client capital expected to be invested in these funds by the end of 2023.
We recognize that to continue closing the gap, we need an approach that both lifts people up now, while creating economic solutions that support systemic change for the long term. We also recognize the need to hold ourselves accountable, starting with being transparent about where we are and where we need to continue pushing to improve. That's why we've committed to a third-party racial equity audit to review Citi's Action for Racial Equity goals. Additionally, Citi is among the first 50 companies and first major Wall St. bank to participate in the Management Leadership for Tomorrow Black Equity at Work Certification, which was created to help guide companies and keep them accountable for making progress around equity. We are going to listen, learn and evolve so we can continue driving equity and inclusion for our colleagues, clients and communities.
My proudest moments at Citi have been when we've worked together to solve society's toughest problems and improve the human condition. Through these efforts – and many more – we are leveraging the core strengths of our bank to make sizable impacts in closing the racial wealth gap while also recognizing there's a lot more work to do to advance anti-racist practices within our own walls and in the industry overall.
I want to thank all of our colleagues, clients and partners who have joined us in this effort. It's easy to make a commitment. But when we say at Citi that we are going to do something, we do it. It is one of the things I love about this firm. And with you at our side, we will continue to push to make a difference in the communities that need it most.