Citigroup donated over $100m in support to COVID-19 relief efforts domestically and around the world, the bank’s latest ESG report has revealed.
Covering 2020, this report is the second to be published by the banking group and details how the organization’s work meeting ESG criteria has been impacted by the pandemic.
Citi’s work in 2020 included being selected by global vaccine alliance Gavi as sole financial advisor to the COVAX Facility. This support enables the initiative to meet its objective of fair and equitable distribution of vaccines.
The report also provided several updates as to the bank’s progress in ESG-focused financial initiatives, covering several areas from climate-change to social inequalities.
Over 2020, Citi provided $7bn in loans for affordable housing projects in the US and launched the Citi Impact Fund. Seeded with an initial $150m, this fund is aimed at businesses addressing societal changes.
The bank has since invested another $50m into this fund, which has resulted in support for 13 companies – the majority of which are founded by women and/or minorities.
Last year, Citi also launched a $1bn commitment to close the racial wealth gap over the next three years through several initiatives such as funding black-owned businesses and supporting black homeownership.
So far, Citi is over a third of its way to a $100m commitment to minority depository institutions that are expanding banking and credit access to communities of color.
“The events of 2020 are a stark reminder that companies like ours have a role to play in helping tackle the world’s toughest problems – and this sense of responsibility drives our ESG agenda,” said Citi CEO, Jane Fraser.
“We don’t see ESG as a separate effort. Instead, it is embedded in our daily efforts to support our clients, colleagues and communities, and our work as a bank. We take great pride in our work and are delighted to share it with all our stakeholders in this report.”
The 2021 reporting season has already seen a number of major banks flagging their sustainability and social credentials as demand grows from customers and investors for more information about their activities in these areas.
JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Fifth Third have all unveiled measures to enhance their commitment to ESG themes this month.