Story at a glance:

  • Citigroup Inc. will audit how its business impacts non-white communities.
  • Attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP will audit Citigroup.
  • The law firm will determine whether the bank has caused, reinforced, or perpetuated discrimination, according to Bloomberg.

 

Citigroup Inc. will audit how and if its business impacts non-white communities, making it the first central Wall Street bank to do so. 

Attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP will audit Citigroup, as the bank announced Friday that it will focus on its 2020 commitment – dedicating $1 billion toward initiatives, one of which is closing the racial wealth gap in the United States, Bloomberg reported.


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Covington & Burling LLP will analyze Citigroup’s business models down to its policies to products and services, according to Bloomberg. The law firm will determine whether the bank has caused, reinforced, or perpetuated discrimination, the outlet reports.

Last year, the Federal Reserve released a survey that found that Black American families’ average wealth is less than 15 percent than that of white American families. 

The survey reported that the median wealth of white families was $188,200, compared with only $24,100 for Black families. 

“Measurement and transparency are important components of the work we are doing to advance diversity, equity and inclusion,” Edward Skyler, executive vice president at Citigroup, said in the post. “We’re demonstrating our ongoing support for measurement and transparency by committing to conduct a racial equity audit."

The move from Citigroup breaks from other Wall Street banks who said that “racial audits are unnecessary,” according to Bloomberg, but is keeping with recent pushes for racial equality and corporate accountability. In June, President Biden announced several new initiatives aimed at bridging the racial wealth gap, including improving homeownership and small business ownership among Black Americans. 

BlackRock Inc. is preparing for its racial audit in 2022 after a shareholder request.


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Published on Oct 22, 2021