There is a section in Philadelphia’s “Prerequisites to the Execution of City Contracts” code entitled, “Slavery Era Business/Corporate Insurance Disclosure” to promote full and accurate disclosure to the public about any slavery policies sold by any companies or profits from slavery by other industries (or their predecessors) who are doing business with the City of Philadelphia.
With the ordinance defining a business entity as “any individual, domestic corporation, foreign corporation, association, syndicate, joint stock company, partnership, joint venture, or unincorporated association, including any parent company, subsidiary, exclusive distributor or company affiliated therewith, engaged in a business or commercial enterprise” each contractor must immediately complete an affidavit verifying that they have searched any and all of their company’s or predecessor company’s records regarding investments or profits from slavery or slaveholder insurance policies during the slavery era. This includes providing the names of any slaves or slaveholders described in those records must be disclosed in the affidavit.
This “Slavery Era Business/Corporate Insurance Disclosure” section of the code requires that any City Depository, depositories beings being a bank or financial institution, authorized to accept City deposits must annually certify the compliance of this code… Those banks and institutions include Wells Fargo, PNC, United Bank of Philadelphia, TD Bank, Citizens Bank, Bank of America, Republic First Bank, Citibank, Bank of New York Mellon, U.S. Bank, Fulton Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Santander Bank.
If a depository has disclosed slavery policies sold by it or its profits from slavery, they must provide the City with a statement of financial reparations. The reparations statement must include a description of any new financial products or programs developed by the depository to address racial disparity in its lending and investment activities. These institutions must also provide the City with an affidavit certifying that neither it, nor any of its affiliates will become a high cost lender or a predatory lender, and must provide the City with an annual statement of community reinvestment goals including the number of small business loans, home mortgages, home improvement loans, and community development investments to be made within low and moderate-income neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia.
Furthermore, each depository must also provide the City with a long term strategic plan to address disparities in its lending and investment activities. The strategic plan shall address how the depository will match or exceed peer lending performance in targeting capital access and credit needs disclosed in disparity studies commissioned by the City.
The City Treasurer must certify to the President of City Council whether or not each bank and institution on the list of potential City depositories has complied with each requirement and shall withdraw all City funds from any bank or institution that has not complied with each requirement. No funds shall thereafter be deposited in such bank or institution until the bank or institution comes into compliance with each requirement and the City Treasurer has so certified to the President of City Council. The City Treasurer shall provide the President of City Council notification of the withdrawal of, and redeposit of, any City funds.
If a contractor fails to provide the affidavit by January 1 of each year, or includes materially false information on such affidavit, the contract shall be voidable, and the Philadelphia Procurement Department shall make the information contained in the affidavit available to the public.
Many of these City Depositories have been known to be predatory lenders who have also directly participated, benefited and profited from slavery, yet none have disclosed any policies sold or profits from slavery, and provided no reparations financial products or programs to resolve the racial disparity in lending and investment activities. It is the duty of the Philadelphia City Council, the City Treasurer, the Commerce Director, the Procurement Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs to administer and enforce the provisions of Philadelphia’s Prerequisites to the Execution of City Contracts.