Bank of America (Merrill Lynch)
Corprate Bias Ratings
Bank of America, representing its affiliates such as Merrill, has terminated business with several customers, especially ones with conservative viewpoints. It has ended business relationships with firearm manufacturers, private prisons, and private citizens. Bank of America covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care" for its employees and their children and pledged over a billion dollars to BLM and related causes. The company is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and funds multiple LGBT organizations. The company discriminates against religious nonprofits in its charitable giving and fails to protect its employees from viewpoint discrimination. It also uses its corporate reputation and funds to advance critical race theory. It is a signatory of the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism. Bank of America is part of Glasgow's Net Zero Alliance, committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. For these reasons, Bank of America receives a High Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
Bank of America stopped lending to private prisons and immigrant detention facilities and stopped doing any business with certain firearm manufacturers (1)(2)(3). The bank also voluntarily turned over its clients’ private financial information to the Federal Government after January 6, 2021 (4). Bank of America closed the bank account of a Tennessee-based nonprofit doing ministry in Uganda; the nonprofit accused Bank of America of canceling them for their religious views and is represented by the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (5). The office of Senator Ted Cruz investigated Intuit Quickbooks for its policy prohibiting gun manufacturers from using its services, and Intuit “clarified that Bank of America required it to prohibit gun manufacturers from using QuickBooks payroll services” (6). Bank of America received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign (7). Among other requirements, this means the bank has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies.
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Bank of America will not match employee donations to “any organization whose purpose is to promote or to discourage the observance or proselytization of religious beliefs” (1). To receive any grant from Bank of America, organizations must also have certain LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections (2)(3).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
Bank of America advocates for the Equality Act and voiced opposition to various state legislatures’ voting integrity laws (1)(2). Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan also opposed the 2016 NC Bathroom Bill, HB2, which would force people to use the bathroom of their biological gender (3). Moynihan is the Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, which works to develop “Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics” for ESG goals (4)(5). Bank of America embraces ESG frameworks for investing and operating, including the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics contrived by the International Business Council (6). Bank of America even funded and implemented a 21-day race-training course for its employees that taught critical race theory content such as “become woke at work,” instructing white employees, in particular, to “decolonize your mind” and “cede power to people of color” (7). Bank of America is part of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, a Ceres Network Member, and a PCAF Member committed to carbon neutrality by 2040 (8)(9)(10)(11). Representing the company, Moynihan has also spoken out against election security bills in Georgia and Texas and endorsed partisan legislation such as increased corporate tax rates (12). Bank of America has signed the OneTen pledge to emphasize race in its hiring practices (13). Bank of America has also signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge (14). Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is a member of the Business Roundtable and signed its 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism over traditional obligations to shareholders and customers (15)(16).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
Bank of America has funded Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center (1)(2). In fact, Bank of America has pledged over a billion dollars to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes (3)(4). Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Bank of America’s CEO called abortion “settled law” and stated that the bank would discuss funding employee abortions in states that restrict procedures (5). After the ruling, Bank of America started to provide reimbursement for abortion travel (6). Bank of America is a bronze partner of the HRC, a titanium sponsor of Out and Equal, and a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (7)(8)(9). Bank of America has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (10)(11).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
November 28, 2023
Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer
|Date||ESG Category||Proponent||Summary of Resolution||Mgmt Rec||Total Vote % in Favor|
|4/28/23||Governance||National Legal and Policy Center||Require an Independent Board Chairman||Against||26.30%|
|4/28/23||Environmental||New York State Common Retirement Fund||Report on GHG Emissions Reductions Targets||Against||11.50%|
|4/28/23||Governance||John Chevedden||Require Shareholder Approval of Termination Pay||Against||7.70%|
|4/25/23||Environmental||As You Sow||Climate Transition Planning||Against||28.50%|
|4/25/23||Social||SOC Investment Group||Racial Equity Audit||Against||15.20%|
|4/25/23||Environmental||Trillium Asset Management||Adopt Policy to Cease Financing New Fossil Fuel Supplies||Against||9.00%|
|4/26/22||Environmental||Trillium Asset Management||Adopt Fossil Fuel Lending Policy Consistent with IEA's Net-zero 2050 Scenario||Against||11.02%|
|4/26/22||Social||National Legal and Policy Center||Report on Charitable Donations||Against||3.36%|
|4/26/22||Social||National Center for Public Policy Research||Civil Rights and¬†Non-Discrimination¬†Audit||Against||2.12%|