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First Republic Bank invests in community, ups minimum wage to $20 per hour

San Francisco-based bank also giving fully paid parental leave to employees

Recently, the state of California announced that it planned to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2023, but that’s not soon enough and not nearly enough money, according to one San Francisco-based bank.

First Republic Bank announced this week that it plans to raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour this year, rather than by 2023.

The increase is part of a widespread effort by the bank to invest in both its employees and its community.

In addition to increasing its minimum wage to $20, the bank also now offers fully paid six-week parental leave for all of its employees, which it began doing in the fourth quarter of 2015.

But that’s not all that First Republic is doing for its employees.

The bank also plans to offer a new fitness stipend for employees to promote good health. According to a statement from the bank, more than 650 of First Republic's employees have already taken advantage of the new benefit, which helps offset the cost of gym memberships.

The bank is also expanding its subsidized meal program for employees, which is available at the bank’s employee cafés in San Francisco, Century City and New York. The bank also plans to open a new employee café in Boston.

And the bank is doing more than taking steps to improve the lives of its employees, it’s also going to work towards improving its local communities.

The bank also announced a new loan program designed to help borrowers in underserved minority neighborhoods “achieve the dream” of homeownership.

The loan program, known as "Eagle Community," offers mortgages at “very attractive” terms for the financing of a primary residence.

The bank additionally plans an expansion of its “award-winning” financial literacy program in local communities. The program, which is called the First Republic Scholars Program, is an online, financial literacy course delivered to more than 60 schools in its markets.

"First Republic has an active and significant commitment to building stronger communities through innovative banking and community engagement programs," said Jim Herbert, CEO of First Republic Bank. "The Bank also strives to be an employer of choice by offering competitive compensation and benefits and a work environment that enables employees to succeed both personally and professionally.”

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