Bank of America will stop lending to business clients that manufacture military-style weapons for civilian use, becoming the latest U.S. financial institution to break ties with gunmakers following the mass shooting massacre at a Florida high school.
“We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings,” Anne Finucane, vice chairman of the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant, said during a Bloomberg TV interview on Tuesday.
“We do have a few manufacturers of military-style firearms” as clients, said Finucane. “We’re in discussions with them. We have let them know … it’s not our intention to underwrite or finance military-style weapons on a go-forward basis.”
The bank does lending or underwriting business with a “handful” of gun manufacturers, Finucane said, without identifying the companies.
The gunmakers’ reaction to the bank’s new policy was “mixed,” she said.
“There are those that I think will reduce their portfolio, and we’ll work with them, and others that will choose to do something else,” said Finucane.
Asked whether Bank of America would adopt a similar stance toward retailers that sell military-style weapons, Finucane said such a move would get into issues involving “civil liberties and the Second Amendment.”
“That’s a good public dialogue, but that’s a long way off,” said Finucane.