CT lawmakers ask Bank of America to move headquarters following HB2

Published: Apr. 5, 2016 at 10:16 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2016 at 2:27 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A bipartisan group of more than 40 Connecticut legislators has written a letter to Charlotte-based Bank of America inviting the corporation to relocate its corporate headquarters to Connecticut.

The letter, addressed to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, was sent Tuesday.

North Carolina's new law, House Bill 2 - signed March 23 by Gov. Pat McCrory, limits legal protections of LGBT individuals by setting a statewide definition of protected classes of citizens. The new law means schools and local governments cannot adopt more inclusive rules.

Legislative leaders say they were responding to Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance, which would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify.

After the passage of House Bill 2, Bank of America released a statement:

Bank of America has been steadfast in our commitment to nondiscrimination and in our support for LGBT employees through progressive workplace policies and practices.  We support public policies that support non discrimination.

Tuesday, Connecticut lawmakers sent Moynihan a letter saying they "hope Governor McCrory and the North Carolina legislature listen to your call."  It goes on to invite Moynihan to move the headquarters, currently located in Charlotte, to Connecticut.

WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the letter

"Connecticut is home to world class financial institutions," Rep. Matthew Lesser said. "We invite Bank of America to consider moving to a state that shares its social values and supports its LGBT workforce. We welcome Bank of America and major North Carolina financial institutions threatened by their state's reckless actions."

Lesser noted that Bank of America is already expanding its footprint in Connecticut and applauded recent moves by the company including an expansion of paid family and medical leave.

"If the State of North Carolina insists on standing on the wrong side of history by keeping this law on the books, we are more than happy to invite Bank of America to join us in Connecticut, where we are proud to stand with the LGBT community," said Sen. Gary Winfield. "We have a proven track record of upholding the rights of individuals in this community. We too are appalled by HB2."

The letter was signed by dozens of legislators.

Bank of America sent WBTV a statement about the request.

"We have been serving customers and communities in Connecticut for more than 200 years and have more than 3,000 teammates in the state now," the statement read. "We appreciate the support of the elected officials across the state as reflected in the letter today."

McCrory spokesman Graham Wilson said he was unfamiliar with the Bank of America relocation discussion when asked about it Tuesday night.

Connecticut's Banking Committee chairs would not rule out targeting other North Carolina financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and PayPal, both of which have strongly opposed the new law.

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