I love being a banker and I love working at U.S. Bank because every day, I see our employees across the country working hard to create economic opportunity for all.
Through our signature Community Possible platform, which spans U.S. Bank, our goal is to close the gap between people and possibility. Every day we power possible in many ways by providing access to safe and affordable housing, helping small businesses grow and helping communities thrive through access to the arts, culture and play. We are focused on creating the future now for our businesses and our communities. And while banking becomes more and more digital every day, we know it is our people who make the difference and lasting impact in our communities.
The work is important, the opportunity is great and the time to act is now.
We recognize we don’t have all the answers and we strive to listen and learn from all our key stakeholders, including our community partners.
Our Community Advisory Committee (CAC), a 16-member nonprofit leadership group, guides us as we look for ways to have the greatest impact on our communities. This group of community leaders ensures we are listening to community needs, today and for the future. When we launched our new small-dollar lending product called U.S. Bank Simple Loan, the CAC provided feedback that helped us improve the product. In 2019, we will continue to listen and make community investments with and through our community partners.
But we know that to have even greater impact, we must take a One U.S. Bank approach bringing together our philanthropy, our investments, our products, services and the expertise of all 74,000 employees to remove barriers and make a difference in the most underserved communities.
This year, the U.S. Bank Foundation will further strengthen our communities and establish larger, more impactful grant funding.
And we will do it focused on the growing inequities in our communities especially for women, people of color and low- to moderate-income communities.
A Chicago transformation.
We will look to make more place-based investments, revitalizing the neighborhoods that are most in need, like the Pullman Neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.
With and through partners, we will be the engine behind the small businesses that will grow there, the capital and financial education expertise for the people who live there and the dreamers behind the creative places for the next generation to play there.
In 2019, we will combine our charitable and business line investments with the power of our workforce to close the gap between people and possibility.
We have increased paid volunteer time off to 16 hours annually for all employees and set an ambitious goal of reaching 100 percent employee community engagement by providing many ways for our employees to connect, give and serve.
We want every employee to say, I contributed to my community and U.S. Bank supported me.
This year, we will work to expand digital financial education and protection that will be engaging, personalized and relevant to meet the immediate and future needs of our customers and their families.
And because we know that protecting and keeping our customers safe is vital, we will stay a step ahead and help empower the next generation of technology leaders by investing in programs like Girls Who Code, the Girl Scouts and Technovation that are closing the gap we face in the cybersecurity talent field.
We will also work to increase our environmental disclosures and reduce risk.
Last year, we completed a materiality assessment in partnership with Ceres, interviewing internal and external stakeholders to understand what Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are most material to our company. We are working hard to make forward progress on what we learned from the assessment and to continue to listen and learn from stakeholders who share our perspective on the importance of constructive and respectful dialogue to address important areas of opportunity.
As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the evolving disclosure landscape, including framework, goals and guidance, scores and ratings.
We will work to continually assess business risks and opportunities and to ensure our strategy evolves with the changing world. We also are working to evolve our risk assessments to take into account a changing climate and social landscape and the potential impact these can have on our customers, communities and employees.
We will do this in two ways:
1 Relationship Review Oversight Policy. This policy, which was created and implemented during 2018, creates a “One U.S. Bank” approach to managing and overseeing relationships that represent elevated reputational risk to the company. To oversee implementation and compliance with the policy, we established a Relationship Review Working Group that consists of risk leaders from multiple business lines and corporate support functions. This group has developed escalation protocols, and is charged with providing recommendations to the Bank’s Executive Risk Committee, including policy changes and enterprise portfolio actions associated with categories of elevated risk.
2 Scenario testing. It is important that we understand how climate-related stress events may affect our business and how we serve our customers. To do this, we regularly assess the impact a climate-related event may have on our business and our customers. We continue to evolve the process to ensure we are adapting to the external environment.
Message from Reba Dominski
At U.S. Bank, we are constantly working to build on our culture of ethics and integrity to strengthen our commitment to corporate responsibility across our entire organization. In 2019, all 74,000 of us will be working together to create economic opportunity for all and to make Community Possible.