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Wells Fargo Invests In Six Black-Owned Banks To Boost Equality

Wells Fargo, trying to invest more in Black-owned banks, has put equity investments into six of them thus far, according to a Monday (Feb. 8) press release.

The plan, launched in March 2020, was to put as much as $50 million in Black-owned banks, which would then have access to financial and technological help and product development.

The initiative will help to “grow and benefit their local community. In the ongoing pandemic, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted, and this investment is part of Wells Fargo’s effort to generate a more inclusive recovery across the country,” the release says.

The banks affected this time are Broadway Federal Bank, in Los Angeles, California; Carver Federal Savings Bank, in New York, New York; Citizens Savings Bank & Trust, in Nashville, Tennessee; Commonwealth National Bank, in Mobile, Alabama; M&F Bank, in Durham, North Carolina; and Optus Bank, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Kleber Santos, head of Diverse Segments, Representation & Inclusion at Wells Fargo, said the pandemic had only underscored existing inequalities and racial divides.

“February is Black History Month, and we are proud to announce these investments at this time because they reflect our dedication to helping African American communities, many of which continue to fight the destructive economic impact of the pandemic,” he said, according to the release. “Wells Fargo wants to help drive stabilization and recovery by using our financial resources and our ability to act as a partner in order to generate better outcomes.”

Wells Fargo recently reported that its provision for credit losses had fallen by $823 million, which the bank said was the result of a $757 million reserve release because of a sale of its student loan portfolio and lower net charge-offs. CEO Charlie Scharf said credit “continues to perform well as both consumers and companies have benefited from accommodations, ongoing fiscal and monetary stimulus, and [an] improving economic outlook.”

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