by Joyce Rothermel

Last month, the Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign learned that PNC Bank will no longer finance the private prison industry that contribute to mass incarceration and are involved in immigrant detention.

Forbes magazine reported that they were told by PNC that the bank continually reviews its lending standards concerning environmental and social responsibilities. This is what led them to stop financing private prisons.

PNC was a significant funding partner of CoreCivic, the second-largest private prison operator in the U.S. According to The Center for Popular Democracy, PNC provided CoreCivic with $112 million in credit commitments and a $28 million loan.

CoreCivic runs a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio, that imprisons undocumented immigrants. Private

prisons are known for weak oversight, poorly paid staff, and overly punitive policies. According to Bloomberg, the Obama administration was in the process of banning them nationwide before President Donald Trump took office and reversed that decision.

Pressure had been applied to PNC and other large banks from an online petition created by activist coalition Families Belong Together. The petition gathered more than 500,000 signatures. Additionally, according to Forbes magazine, investors representing $2.9B reached out to the company in a July 29th letter, to express their concerns about the human rights and financial implications of the company’s relationship with the private prison companies.

For over two years, the Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign (SBTB) has been working to get PNC to end its financial commitments to six corporations in the manufacture of nuclear weapons and to adopt a corporate policy never to loan money to or in any way financially support corporations involved in the manufacture of or sale of nuclear weapons.

We join with Families Belong Together in applauding the PNC decision to end financing of for-profit prisons and detention centers. This decision and the one made in response to public pressure in 2015 to tighten its restrictions on funding mountaintop-removal mining projects give the SBTB campaign hope. According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, PNC has loans of over $1.1 billion to several nuclear-arms manufacturers. They have refused to date to pull out of these investments.

To join the SBTB Campaign consider joining any or all of our upcoming pickets:

Friday, Sept. 6, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, PNC Headquarters, Fifth Ave. & Wood Street, Downtown;
Saturday, Sept. 21, 11 AM – Noon, PNC Bank, 1736 East Carson St. Southside;
Friday, Oct. 4, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, PNC Headquarters, Fifth Aveue and Wood Street, Downtown.

Consider publicly closing your PNC account in protest of their current socially irresponsible policies; Buy a share of PNC stock, becoming a stockholder to use your voice at the 2020 shareholders meeting.

More information available via email stopbankingthebomb@gmail. com or visit our website www.

Joyce Rothermel is a member of the Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign.

Originally published VOL 49 No. 7, September 2019

Categories: News

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