Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, and Members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to represent Citi today.
By way of introduction, my name is Jane Fraser. I joined the bank 17 years ago and became CEO in March. I grew up in a small village in Scotland, but first came to the U.S. in 1987, and I proudly became a citizen in 2001. My husband immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba when he was a young boy, and is also a proud citizen of our country. So we feel fortunate about the opportunities this country has created for our family and believe we have an obligation to make sure everyone can participate in the American dream.
At Citi, we recognize this has been a very challenging time for Americans—millions of whom we are proud to call our customers. The origins of this global crisis are unlike the last one. This is a public health crisis with severe economic consequences. Through the pandemic, Citi has shown we are a very different bank than the one that entered the financial crisis more than a decade ago.
We are smaller, safer, stronger and far less complex. We have had the financial resources to support our clients and communities, and we are laser focused on driving a sustainable and equitable recovery.
I’ll always be proud that we were the first bank to provide relief programs for retail and small business customers in the U.S. We are also proud to be a reliable conduit for the extraordinary consumer and business aid that Congress and the Federal Reserve have provided.
We helped deliver this aid across many government-sponsored programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program. As a result of the tremendous need from small businesses, we went from being a relatively small SBA lender to so far funding more than $5.1 billion in PPP loans to the hardest-hit small businesses.
Nearly 80% of these loans have gone to businesses with 10 or fewer employees. And we are donating the net profits to provide further support to vulnerable small businesses and communities in the U.S.
At the same time, we have made our own people a priority—and provided special compensation awards to many colleagues to help ease the financial burden.
As the world’s most global bank, we will continue supporting many of the most iconic American businesses as they navigate the uncertainty of markets abroad. Working in concert with federal assistance programs, we will also continue to serve as a source of strength for our customers and communities here at home.
We have a smaller branch footprint than our peers, but we will harness the full power of our bank’s capabilities to extend our reach and help make sure the recovery leaves no one behind. We are proud of our record of enabling opportunity in every community.
For 11 straight years we have been the number one lender of affordable housing in the U.S. In 2020 alone, we worked with state and local governments to finance over $27 billion in vital capital projects, such as roads, schools, hospitals and utilities. And through low-cost and no-fee products, we continue expanding financial services in under-banked neighborhoods.
Almost exactly a year ago, as calls for social justice rang out in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Citi answered those calls with action. We launched a firm-wide effort, including $1 billion in strategic initiatives, to help close the racial wealth gap.
We are not alone in our commitment to equity, but what distinguishes us is how we hold ourselves accountable for results. And where we have more work to do, we’re very upfront about it. This transparency has defined our representation goals and our efforts to close our gender pay gap. It’s also part of our sustainability agenda and our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, which I announced on my first day as CEO. Helping our clients transition to a low-carbon economy is central to this work.
I am determined for Citi to continue leading on these issues. They are central to our mission of enabling growth and progress. I want us to build a reputation for excellence in everything we do – in how we manage risk, in how we deliver for customers, in how we create a rewarding place to work and in how we serve our communities.
So thank you again for the opportunity to talk about Citi’s efforts to be part of the solution and recovery to the pandemic.