Mortgage

These banks raised wages on heels of tax reform

More mortgages for low-to-moderate income borrowers, too

Banks are giving back to their employees after Republicans in Congress passed their major tax overhaul Wednesday.

Among other changes, the soon-to-be law brings the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%, the first decrease in 15 years.

To celebrate, several companies, including two banks, announced they would share the cut by raising wages for their employees.

“We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and are pleased to take these immediate steps to invest in our team members, communities, small businesses, and homeowners,” Wells Fargo President and CEO Tim Sloan said. “We look forward to identifying additional opportunities for Wells Fargo to invest, as we continue to execute our business strategies and provide long-term value to all our stakeholders.”

“As the nation’s largest small business lender and residential mortgage provider, we understand our significant role in helping grow the economy,” Sloan said.

Wells Fargo announced it would raise its minimum wage from $13.50, which it increased it to in January, to $15 per hour.

The bank also announced it is planning a 40% increase in donations to $400 million in 2018. It will also give out more loans to small businesses and mortgages to low-to-moderate income borrowers.

The company will target $75 million to its NeighborhoodLIFT program in 2018, double the amount from 2017. This program offers down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers in collaboration with NeighborWorks America and local nonprofit organizations.

But Wells Fargo isn’t the only bank giving back after tax reform passed through the Senate. Fifth Third Bancorp also announced it plans to raise its minimum hourly wage for all employees to $15, as well as give out a one-time bonus of $1,000 for more than 113,500 employees.

“We want to invest in our most important asset – our people,” Fifth Third President and CEO Greg Carmichael said. “Our employees drive our reputation, our business and our success.”

Carmichale said the new wages will go into effect next year if the president signs the tax reform bill, and the $1,000 bonus could come as soon as the end of this year if the president signs the bill into law before Christmas.

Other companies also announced they will give back to their employees after the president signs tax reform legislation including AT&T, Commcast and Boeing.

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