Bank of America came out with its annual corporate social responsibility report today, highlighting some of the bank's charitable contributions and sustainable business practices in 2011.
In a letter attached to the report, chief marketing and strategy officer Anne Finucane stressed that the company has made strides in simplifying the bank in the past year but wants to do more.
"We have made significant changes in our policies and practices — our position on overdrafts, our clarity commitment and our loan modification programs to name a few," Finucane wrote. "And we are moving forward with energy and optimism. This is how we will grow and, as importantly, restore confidence in our company."
Here are some of the report's highlights:
- Employees volunteered 1.5 million hours in 2011, up from 1.3 million hours.
- Donated $25 million to nonprofits, matched by the bank.
- Bank of America began reimbursing employees for the added tax cost of insuring a same-sex partner.
- Employees submitted 200,000 ideas to help Project New BAC, the cost-cutting initiative.
- The bank cancelled plans for a $5 debit card fee that many of its competitors were also considering. "Because we listen and respond to what customers tell us, we made the decision to end the planning process and not to implement the fee."
- About $695 million in assets under management in "socially responsible investment" funds.
- Customer satisfaction levels remained steady until August, when "a confluence of negative news stories and experience challenges caused some decline."
- The bank rewrote a number of disclosure forms and statements in plain language to make them more understandable.
- New chief data officer hired to boost customer privacy and data security.
- Bank spent $2.36 billion with "diverse suppliers," up from $2.33 billion in 2010 and $1.87 billion in '09.
- Bank paid $2.7 billion in federal, state, local and international taxes.
- As new regulations were crafted, Bank of America "continued to play an active role with government officials and civil servants to build a stronger global financial system."
- Extended $557 billion in credit, including $126.9 billion in community development initiatives.
- Operated 1,552 branches in "underserved neighborhoods," or 27 percent of the total.
- Increased small business lending by $1 billion, to $18.7 billion.
- Committed $3.65 billion toward environmental projects.
- Spent $3.5 million on energy efficiency within the company.
- Reduced water consumption to 3.9 billion gallons from 4.2 billion.