Citi today announced its participation as a founding member in the Economic Opportunity Coalition (“EOC”). This is an effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to catalyze and align public and private investments that will address economic disparities and accelerate economic opportunity in underserved communities in the U.S. The newly created program consists of corporations and foundations, all of which have committed to aligning major investments in underserved communities with investments made by the Biden-Harris Administration.
“At Citi, we recognize that closing the racial wealth gap is not only imperative for communities but for businesses. We need collective action from both the private and public sectors to address systemic socioeconomic issues and increase economic mobility,” said Jane Fraser, CEO of Citi. “That’s why we’re partnering with the Economic Opportunity Coalition to help strengthen financial inclusion and deepen Citi’s racial equity commitments.”
As a founding member, Citi will support the coalition at large, with a focus on how it engages and strengthens community financial institutions, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs). Participation will build upon Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Action for Racial Equity, a $1.1 billion initiative to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the U.S. In just the first year of a three-year commitment, Citi has already invested more than $1 billion in these efforts, and the company is on track to meet its financial commitments by the end of 2023.
Earlier this year, the Citi Foundation launched a $50 million Request for Ideas to solicit and support breakthrough innovations from nonprofit organizations working to advance the field of community finance. Citi also created the Diverse Financial Institutions Group, a dedicated team within the company that is responsible for leading and expanding firmwide engagement with MDIs, diverse broker dealers and diverse asset managers. The bank is deepening its ongoing engagement with these stakeholders given their critical role in advancing racial equity in financial services.
“The investments EOC members have already made to accelerate economic opportunity signals a promising new era in historic investment to help close the wealth gap in the U.S., but we recognize we must do more,” said Michael Roth, Managing Partner, Next Street and lead of the Economic Opportunity Coalition. “We’re excited to work with organizations like Citi, who have been critical in advancing equity and inclusion in our communities, and we look forward to leveraging our collective resources to implement changes that can have a lasting impact on our society.”
The EOC will coordinate across public, private and social sector organizations to develop and deploy new products and services that solve issues in getting resources where most needed and hold itself accountable for meaningful action. The EOC has already made significant commitments across its four focus areas: 1) investing in CDFIs and MDIs, 2) supporting entrepreneurship and minority-owned businesses, 3) expanding inclusive and equitable access to credit and other financial services facilitating financial health, and 4) making infrastructure investments that create more community wealth.
EOC members are committed to continuing to make progress. Over the coming months, the EOC will build on investments the Biden-Harris Administration has made and develop new solutions that reimagine how capital, technology and talent are deployed in underserved communities.
Citi is a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in its home market of the United States. Citi does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, providing corporations, governments, investors, institutions and individuals with a broad range of financial products and services.
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