Citigroup to spend more than $1 billion to help close racial wealth gap

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Citigroup Inc. said Wednesday it is launching more than $1 billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap in the U.S. and improve economic mobility. The initiatives include $550 million to support home ownership for people of color and for minority developers of affordable housing, $350 million in procurement opportunities for Black-owned business suppliers, $100 million to support minority depository institutions, $100 million to support community change agents addressing racial equity and $50 million in additional investing capital for Black entrepreneurs. A recent Citigroup report estimated that if racial gaps for Black Americans in wages, housing, education and investment were closed 20 years ago, $16 trillion could have been added to the U.S. economy. Citigroup estimates if the gaps are closed now, $5 trillion could be added to gross domestic product over the next five years. “We are bringing together all the capabilities of our institution – our people, our lines of business, our balance sheet, and our philanthropy – like never before to combat the impact of racism in our economy,” said Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat. Citigroup’s stock, which rose 0.8% in premarket trading, has dropped 45.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has shed 22.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.
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