Bank of America announced today the issuance of its third Equality Progress Sustainability Bond (EPSB) for $2 billion. The use of proceeds from the bond offering is designed to advance racial and gender equality, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.
This transaction marks the second offering following the publication of Bank of America’s ESG-themed Issuance Framework last year, aligning to company’s leadership in sustainable finance and goal of mobilizing and scaling capital deployment to help advance the UN SDGs.
The “Equality Progress” label is outlined in the Framework and is designed to advance equality and economic opportunity for historically marginalized populations by focusing on financing and investments that provide people of color or women with expanded access to essential services, such as affordable housing, and business capital.
Bank of America will allocate at least 50% of an amount equal to the net proceeds from the sale of the bond to one or more eligible Equality Progress Social Assets, with the remainder allocated to eligible Green Assets (together “Eligible Assets”).
“Fueled by the success of the first and second Equality Progress Sustainability Bonds, this bond demonstrates how the financial community can find ways to create meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and further socioeconomic empowerment for underserved populations,” said Paul Donofrio, Vice Chair at Bank of America.
This issuance expands upon Bank of America’s first Equality Progress Sustainability Bond, which was issued in 2020 and the first sustainability bond issued by a U.S. bank holding company where the social portion of the use of proceeds was dedicated to the financial empowerment of Black and Hispanic-Latino communities. The second Equality Progress Sustainability Bond was issued in 2021, which broadened the scope of the target populations for eligible Equality Progress Social Assets to include women and Asian American, Pacific Islander and Indigenous people, along with Black and Hispanic-Latino populations.
“The issuance of our third Equality Progress Sustainability Bond demonstrates our commitment and consistent approach to financing and investing for environmental and social sustainability. We are very encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the global investor community toward our issuance framework and anticipate this will pave the way for sustainability investments that help advance racial and gender equity and the environmental transition to become more mainstream,” said Karen Fang, Global Head of Sustainable Finance at Bank of America.
The six-year bond, which is callable in five years, will pay interest semi-annually at a fixed rate of 6.204% for the first five years, and quarterly at a floating rate thereafter. BofA Securities was the sole bookrunner on the deal and six minority- or women-owned broker dealers served as joint-lead managers – Academy Securities, Blaylock Van, Loop Capital, R. Seelaus & Co, Ramirez & Co and Siebert Williams Shank.
Within one year of the issuance of this Equality Progress Sustainability Bond, Bank of America will publish a report related to the use of proceeds of the bond on the company’s ESG-Themed Issuance webpage, located on the Bank of America Investor Relations website. The information in the report regarding allocation to Eligible Assets will be updated at least annually as long as the bond remains outstanding.
Bank of America is the #1 US corporate issuer of ESG bonds having issued $13.85 billion across five green, two social and three sustainability bond issuances, which focused on areas such as clean energy, energy efficiency, affordable housing and community development, and addressing the global coronavirus pandemic. More than a decade ago, Bank of America co-authored the original Green Bond Principles, a voluntary set of guidelines and standards meant to bring integrity to this market where proceeds help to directly finance environmental projects. Bank of America has also been a member of the executive committee of the industry group that provides guidance on ESG-themed bond issuances since its inception.
Bank of America has set tangible sustainable finance goals and made measurable progress in mobilizing and scaling capital deployment to help drive social and environmental change aligned with the UN SDGs. As part of the company’s commitment to mobilize and deploy $1.5 trillion in sustainable finance by 2030, approximately $250 billion of capital was mobilized and deployed in 2021.
In addition, BofA Securities has helped clients across all sectors support their sustainable business needs by raising in excess of $500 billion in principal amount through more than 700 ESG-themed bond offerings.
To learn more about Bank of America’s ESG-themed issuances or to view past financed projects, please visit Bank of America’s Investor Relations website. Learn more about Bank of America’s ESG efforts at about.bankofamerica.com.
Certain statements contained in this news release may constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements represent the current expectations, plans or forecasts of Bank of America based on available information. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements often use words like “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “targets,” “intends,” “plans,” “predict,” “goal” and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “may,” “might,” “should,” “would” and “could.” Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Bank of America undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect the impact of circumstances or events that arise after the date the forward-looking statement was made.
Forward-looking statements represent Bank of America’s current expectations, plans or forecasts of its future results, revenues, expenses, efficiency ratio, capital measures, and future business and economic conditions more generally, and other future matters, including possible issuances of green, social or sustainability securities and other statements about future events and expectations, including with respect to Bank of America’s ESG strategy and its sustainable finance goal of $1.5 trillion by 2030. These statements are not guarantees of its future results or performance and involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict and are often beyond Bank of America’s control. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements. Future events or circumstances may change Bank of America’s approach to possible green, social or sustainability securities issuances or result in changes to the ESG-themed Issuance Framework or Bank of America’s sustainability strategy and commitments generally. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should consider all of the uncertainties and risks discussed under Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of Bank of America’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and in any of Bank of America’s other subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.
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Sheryl Lee, Global Markets, Sustainable Finance and ESG Media, Bank of America
Jonathan Blum, Bank of America (Fixed Income)