While companies and organizations of all kinds across America – and the world – have been scrambling to respond appropriately to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, several US banks have taken steps to provide support to communities beyond expanding credit lines and waiving fees.
Bank of America has committed $100 million in support for communities in the US and around the world to help them face “unprecedented challenges”.
The funds are aimed at increasing medical response capacity, addressing food insecurity, increasing access to educational resources as schools close, and providing support to vulnerable groups.
The bank said it would increase funding to national and global organizations “on the front lines”.
“We must all work together as one global community – public and private sectors, as well as individuals – to address this healthcare and humanitarian crisis,” said Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America.
“As the needs in our local communities continue to rapidly escalate, we must take swift action to provide resources where there are gaps, and help local communities protect their most vulnerable populations.
“Building on the efforts of local, state and international governments, we are focusing our resources on the number one priority – looking after people.”
Meanwhile, Truist Financial Corporation has pledged $25 million in support for various organizations across the US.
In a statement on March 17, the group said it was donating $1 million each to the CDC Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine through its Truist Charitable Fund, to support response and recovery efforts and fund medical supplies.
The Truist Foundation is to donate $3 million to local branches of the United Way charity, which has launched its own COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support “vulnerable populations”.
Truist said the remaining charitable funds would be given as grants to its community partners in a phased approach “to support and expand technology initiatives and programs for youth, seniors, small businesses and people to rebuild, restore and create thriving communities”.
Kelly King, chair and CEO of Truist, said the company recognized the need for “immediate help” but was also “looking forward to the recovery stages of this pandemic to ensure the non-profit organizations our communities count on have the funding they need to help our neighbors get back on solid footing”.
“Our philanthropic commitments, along with the relief measures we’re providing for clients and teammates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will help our communities emerge stronger than ever,” King added.
Elsewhere, Webster Bank has donated $250,000 to support non-profit organizations in the communities it serves, to help provide “urgent services” during the outbreak. The donation includes support for Feeding America Food Banks and the American Red Cross’s COVID-19 fund.
Associated Bank, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, has made a $30,000 donation to Brown County United Way’s local emergency response fund, and urged customers who are able to make contributions to do so.
Philip Flynn, president and CEO of Associated Bank, said it was the group’s “collective responsibility” to “meet the needs of those who are affected most during this time of uncertainty”.
Mutual of Omaha has also announced that it would provide “leadership and financial resources” to help the response to the pandemic in Omaha. “We are joining with other local foundations to create a fund to support local non-profits that provide services to our most vulnerable neighbors,” the bank said.