Bank of America takes aim at gun-making clients

The Bank of America building in Los Angeles, October 29, 2014. — Reuters pic
The Bank of America building in Los Angeles, October 29, 2014. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 — Bank of America Corp yesterday became the latest financial heavyweight to take aim at gunmakers, saying it would ask clients who make assault rifles how they can help end mass shootings like last week’s massacre at a Florida high school.

Bank of America, the second-biggest US bank by assets, said its request to makers of the military-style weapons was in line with those taken by other financial industry companies to help prevent deadly gun rampages.

“An immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility,” the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in a statement.

It did not name the clients who make assault rifles. The weapons have been widely used in US mass shootings, including the one on Feb 14 that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The Bank of America move came after BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, said on Thursday it would speak with weapons manufacturers and distributors “to understand their response” to the high school massacre.

The First National Bank of Omaha has said it will not renew a contract with the National Rifle Association to issue a NRA-branded Visa card. The lender was among several corporate partners that have cut marketing ties with the powerful gun lobby in recent days. — Reuters

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