Bank of America announced today that it has issued a $2 billion “Equality Progress Sustainability Bond,” with proceeds aimed at investments targeting advancements in racial and gender equality, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability.
The offering brings the company’s total sustainable bond issuances to nearly $12 billion since 2013, including five green bonds, two social bonds, and two sustainability bonds.
Anne Finucane, Vice Chair at Bank of America, said:
“This bond offering demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainable development and delivers shared value between us and our stakeholders. It provides an opportunity for fixed income investors to be part of the environmental and social change that we stand for by providing access to financing and investment, and socioeconomic empowerment, for underserved populations, as well as continuing to invest in the environmental transition towards a low-carbon economy.”
The new bond marks the second Equality Progress-labeled issuance for Bank of America, following its initial $2 billion offering last year, and the first offering under the company’s recently issued ESG-themed Issuance Framework.
Last year’s bond raised capital to help reduce inequalities for Black and Hispanic-Latino borrowers and communities in the U.S., and for projects supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. The new framework expands the eligible categories for investment from Equality Progress bonds to include social categories such as women and Asian American, Pacific Islander and Indigenous people, along with Black and Hispanic-Latino populations, and new green categories such as sustainable water and wastewater management, green buildings and carbon capture.
Tom Montag, Chief Operating Officer at Bank of America, said:
“ESG-themed securities are scaling finance to critically-needed services, such as healthcare and affordable housing, and environmentally-focused projects across communities. This bond issuance will promote financing for, and investments in, underserved communities and minority- and women-led businesses, and will help drive the adoption of more low-carbon solutions. This transaction is unique because Bank of America will allocate the bond proceeds only to eligible assets that are funded after the issue date of the bond, which is different from many similar transactions in the market.”
Bank of America assigned six minority- or women-owned broker dealers to serve as joint-lead managers on the offering, including Cabrera, CastleOak, C.L. King, Loop Capital, R. Seelaus & Co and Siebert Williams Shank.