According to reports from Bloomberg, Bank of America Corp has announced that it is withdrawing its financial support of private detention centers and prisons. This move doesn’t come as a surprise because many other financial institutions have taken a similar stance in a bid to distance themselves from this sector. In recent times, there have been many protests over how the private prison and detention sectors have supported controversial immigration policies by the current administration.
Bank Of America Corp Stops Financing Private Prisons
While financing private prisons has always been a thing, activism against the act has grown more intense in recent time as immigration policies become strict and human rights groups complain about the poor conditions of these facilities. You see, these private detention centers held more than two-thirds of those who were found guilty of breaking immigration laws last year.
While the Bank of America didn’t specifically state that the reason for withdrawing its financial support was related to activism, this is the most likely reason. At the beginning of the year, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and some other financial institutions withdrew their support of private detention centers for similar reasons.
In April, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of America had a confrontation with an activist during their yearly shareholder meeting. The activist asked the executive to explain why the Bank continued to fund private prisons despite the controversy surrounding them and irrespective of the fact that other banks were withdrawing their support.
Note that the Bank of America Corp is the second largest bank per assets. Last year, the financial institution offered syndicated loans and bonds to two of the major private detention centers in the United States, GEO Group Inc, and CoreCivic Inc. Along with Wells Fargo and Co, the Bank Of America generated about $1.8 billion in debt from these two companies last year alone.