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Bank of America says it will stop lending to private-prison companies

Bank of America says it will stop lending to private-prison companies
© Greg Nash

Bank of America, the nation's second-biggest bank, announced Wednesday that it will sever ties with all companies that operate private prison and detention facilities, according to Bloomberg.

“We’ve done our due diligence that we said we would do at the annual meeting, and this is the decision we’ve made,” BoA Vice Chair Anne Finucane told the publication.

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Before making the decision, the bank conducted a review through its environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee, which included meeting and consulting with clients, criminal justice experts and civil rights leaders, as well as internal black and Hispanic leaders, according to Bloomberg.

The move follows a similar decision by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in March, as well as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPhilly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans MORE’s (D-Mass.) rollout last week of a proposal to ban private prisons.

“The broader issues are the need for reforms in the criminal justice system and immigration,” Finucane said, according to Bloomberg.

The announcement led to nearly 4 percent drops in shares of Geo Group Inc. and CoreCivic Inc., two of the biggest for-profit prison companies. While both companies run facilities on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they have denied running centers that house unaccompanied minors.

“The GEO Group has never managed any facilities that house unaccompanied minors, nor have we ever managed border patrol holding facilities,” GEO Group Chief Executive Officer George C. Zoley said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (D-N.Y.) hailed the decision on Twitter, tying it to heightened public outrage about the conditions in facilities housing detained migrants.