Citi bank has hired five black-owned firms exclusively to disseminate $2.5bn in loans, with proceeds going towards constructing quality affordable housing for low-moderate income populations in the US.
Bond issuance came after the bank announced in November that one year into its three-year commitment to tackle racial inequality, it had invested $1bn in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap and accelerate economic mobility across the nation.
According to a statement, the bank is on track to exceed its original $1.1 billion commitment
“Safe and affordable housing is an important platform for financial stability and economic mobility, yet it is scarce and too expensive in many urban areas across the country,” said Mark Mason, chief financial officer at Citi.
Citi hired five black-owned financial firms to underwrite and disseminate the bonds to investors, including Blaylock Van, CastleOak Securities, Global Oak Capital Markets, Loop Capital Markets and Security Capital Brokerage.
“Security Capital is proud to have been part of this transaction,” said Nathan L. Lewis, president and CEO at Security Capital Brokerage.
“We truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with Citi in supporting affordable housing and look forward future opportunities to work together,” he added.
Financial institutions are increasingly scaling investment in social mobility programmes. Last week JP Morgan Chase confirmed it was launching a $75 million commitment spanning five years that will help close the racial wealth divide in the Greater Washington area.
Meanwhile Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Inclusion launched an initiative dedicated to advancing equality in education and career pathways last month. The $20 million initiative seeks to address systemic inequalities in education and career outcomes.