Joint Op-Ed: Equity Should Be Required of the Entire Financial Sector, Not Just Banks

Joint op-ed by BPI President and CEO Greg Baer and NCRC’s Jesse Van Tol. Originally published by Morning Consult.

Over the last year, the division of inequality in America has been revealed through our simultaneous crises of COVID, racial injustice and economic insecurity. Low income and low-wealth households — many of which are Black American, Latino, and Native American — continue to face economic barriers in access to credit, homeownership, capital assets and other means to improve their economic situations.

The scale of racial and ethnic inequality is extreme, including a 30-percentage-point gap in the Black and white rates of homeownership. The median and mean wealth for Black families is particularly stark, but Latino, Native American and Asian families also have lower wealth. Black and Latino families are far less likely to have retirement accounts, own equities like stocks and mutual funds or receive an inheritance or gift. They are less likely to obtain small-business loans and more likely to rely on high-cost nonbank financial services providers, which may not invest in their communities.