Bank of America, the second largest bank in the U.S., says will stop lending to companies that run private prisons.
“We have decided to exit the relationship,’’ Anne Finucane, the bank’s Vice Chairman, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’ve done our due diligence that we said we would do at the annual meeting, and this is the decision we’ve made.’’
The bank has acquiesced to demands of leftwing activists who have been pressuring the largest banks to cut ties to legal businesses that do not fit with their agenda. Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase had already given in to those demands.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted about her plan to get rid of them private prison companies altogether.
Private prison companies have spent millions to turn our criminal and immigration policies into ones that prioritize making them rich instead of keeping us safe—with terrible consequences. Today I’m announcing my plan to end this private profiteering off of cruelty.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 21, 2019
Financial blacklisting has become a favorite tactic of the left and increasingly large financial companies have shown a willingness to participate. Public pension funds for New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, CalSTERS have all divested holdings in private prison businesses. J.P. Morgan Chase has said it is monitoring the “environmental and social risks” of its customers, including those involved in oil and gas drilling, coal mining, payday lending, forestry, and gun making. Detention centers housing migrants have become a particular focus as the left as activists attempt to undermine President Trump’s border security policies. The two biggest private prison companies in the U.S. say they operate detention centers on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but their facilities do not house unaccompanied minors.