Wells Fargo & Co (WFC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Bank of America Corp (BAC) Attempts to Show It Has a Conscience

Page 1 of 2

You probably don’t often see Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)‘s name linked with the term “socially responsible,” but the concept isn’t as far out as you might think.

For the past few years, the bank has been involved in an initiative to make loans available to businesses that want to reduce their carbon footprint. The first multi-year program, to which B of A had committed $20 billion, completed its goal by the end of 2012. The current plan involves lending $50 billion over the next 10 years, and is also dedicating $100 million in grant money to further the green cause.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

Investors want to invest more responsibly

Similarly, the trend toward socially responsible investing has not gone unnoticed at Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). Between its Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust units, B of A offers over 180 investment products with environmental, social, and governance themes. For some clients, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management also makes available, at no charge, a proxy voting service that assists shareholders in making their voices heard regarding socially responsible investing values.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)’s Merrill Edge online brokerage now features these choices on a new Socially Responsible Investing page, allowing clients to filter and screen SRI funds according to their personal value system.

Not the first

Although Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is now publicizing its SRI efforts, the concept is not new, and other banks have also been cultivating similar products. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), for instance, launched its Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) Advantage Social Sustainability Fund in 2008 and, in its Environmental Finance Report, published in May, stated its own involvement in a green lending program similar to B of A’s. Wells also noted that it had invested over $500 million in wind and solar ventures, in addition to other projects, during 2012.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) beefed up its SRI services in 2008 by incorporating screening capabilities into their investment platform, allowing clients to sort companies by various filters, based upon their personal investing code. Also, First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC)‘s Private Wealth Management unit provides SRI services for its clients, noting individual preferences during the advisement process. Interestingly, First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) was a former unit of Merrill Lynch, but it was sold to a group of investors by Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) in 2009.

Good public relations

Giving the investor what he wants is always a smart move, and SRI is a trend that is gaining momentum. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s CIO notes that investing with an eye toward social responsibility is making up a larger part of the managed investment picture these days — and that the returns are competitive, too.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

The Best Movie Sountracks Ever

The Highest Grossing Musicals on Broadway

The Most Successful Reality TV Stars

Cheapest Cities to Visit in the US

Most Expensive Summer Camps

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!