May 18 marked Bank of America’s announcement of raising its US hourly minimum wage to $25 by 2025.
This development comes as no surprise, as the company has regularly been increasing its wages through the years. In fact, compared to 2010, its wages will have increased by more than 121% once the planned increase takes place.
Additionally, all Bank of America’s US vendors will now be required to pay their employees a minimum hourly wage of $15, even though, according to their statement, 99% of them are already doing this.
BoA has been setting the standard for minimum wages in the US for years. By constantly pushing the wage bar higher, it leads by example and shows other companies that keeping one’s employees well-paid results in increased satisfaction, trust, and optimal performance.
Sheri Bronstein, who is the chief human resources officer at BoA, says, “A core tenet of responsible growth is our commitment to being a great place to work which means investing in the people who serve our clients,” and adds, “That includes providing strong pay and competitive benefits to help them and their families so that we continue to attract and retain the best talent.”
The History of Bank of America’s Minimum Wages
According to data from December 2020, Bank of America is the fourth-largest US bank according to the number of employees. Since its inception in 1998, the company has amassed over 140,198 employees.
With the latest increase, a minimum wage employee at BoA would earn $52,000 annually—25% higher than their current yearly income of $41,600. In the past four years, the minimum wage started at $15 per hour, then moved up to $17 in 2019 and $20 in 2020.
By being aware of their employees’ needs and regularly taking them into account, BoA has built a good reputation. As a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems, it is regularly included on “best” lists for its services, such as its credit cards for young adults and cards with a signup bonus.
Bank of America is a clear leader in the minimum wage department compared to the other larger banks—Wells Fargo has a $15–$20 minimum wage, and JPMorgan Chase comes close with $16.50–$20. Citibank has the lowest minimum wage of the four—only $15.
Minimum Wage in the US Still an Issue
Bank of America’s minimum wage increase is three times higher than the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25.
The effort for raising the federal minimum wage is ongoing, but it’s showing some signs of progress. On April 27, President Biden signed an executive order that forces federal contractors to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.
Opposers of the increase express their concern that this may result in a possible rise in unemployment due to the excessive financial burden on businesses. This prediction has been refuted by the Biden administration, stating that the raise will increase productivity and, as a result, promote higher-quality work. The discussion is still ongoing.