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Behind Bank of America’s Decision to End Business With Some Gun Makers

In April, in the midst of America’s public reckoning with mass shootings, Bank of America made the decision to end its business with makers of military-style weapons—like the semi-automatic guns used in many mass shootings—who sold those arms to civilians.

The bank realized the decision would have limited impact.

“We’re not solving the problem,” said Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chairman, speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in London Tuesday morning. She noted that key issues around mental health and gun ownership are matters of public policy outside the bank’s purview.

She also commented that the decision—which was made by Bank of America’s CEO Bryan Moynihan and Finucane (BAC), who also heads the company’s environmental, social, and governance committee—was not political, but aimed at “lowering the temperature of fear” among employees.

“We did it because we felt fear among employees,” she said, adding that the bank had 150 employees and thousands of customers who had been personally affected by America’s scourge of gun violence.

Finucane said the move has cost the bank some business—both of military-style gun makers as well as of those who took issue with Bank of America’s decision—but she’s pretty sure it has also brought in some new customers as well.