TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada is committing $150 million to racial diversity initiatives and aims to increase the proportion of non-white executives to 30 per cent from 20 per cent, Canada’s biggest lender said on Monday.
RBC joins Bank of America, which announced $1 billion to address racial inequality, and others including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Amazon.com Inc in committing funds for racial justice causes following the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May.
“We… know we’re not immune from systemic bias and racism, and we believe we have more work to do to better understand, identify and address issues that impede the success of Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups in our workforce,” RBC said in a statement.
RBC did not say when it seeks to reach the 30 per cent firm-wide target for non-white executives.
The bank pledged $100 million in small business loans over five years to Black entrepreneurs and a $50 million investment until 2025 to create opportunities for 25,000 Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).
It will double its investment in its leadership program to drive development of BIPOC talent, the bank said.
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RBC will also establish and measure annual internship and new hire goals for Black and Indigenous talent in Canada, the United States and the U.K. from 2021, it said.
Last month, Manulife Financial Corp said it will invest $3.5 million on diversity initiatives and Bank of Nova Scotia said it was committing $500,000 to organizations fighting racial discrimination.
Canadian banks last week joined a widespread boycott of Facebook Inc seeking to pressure the company to take concrete steps to block hate speech.
© Thomson Reuters 2020