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Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Bank of America told Bloomberg in an interview Wednesday that it will stop lending to companies that run private prisons and immigrant detention centers.

What we know: The move followed a review by the company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee, which visited sites and consulted with civil rights activists and experts Vice Chairman Anne Finucane told Bloomberg: "We’ve done our due diligence that we said we would do at the annual meeting, and this is the decision we’ve made.’"

The big picture: Bank of America is at least the third major bank to cut off its business relationship with the industry this year, following JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. For-profit prisons have come under heightened scrutiny recently due in part to reports of migrant children being detained in squalid conditions at border facilities.

  • Wayfair's employees announced a walkout in Boston on Wednesday in response to executives refusing to stop selling beds to a Texas immigration facility.
  • Several Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have proposed banning private prisons entirely.

Go deeper: Axios' special report on how companies profit from prisons

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

Jimmy Lai among Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders sentenced to prison

Students standing under a banner during a flag raising ceremony on the first annual National Security Education Day in Hong Kong. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Hong Kong court sentenced a group of the city's most prominent pro-democracy activists to up to 18 months in prison Friday for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in August 2019 that drew an estimated 1.7 million people, AP reports.

Why it matters: Critics say the sentences send the message that even peaceful pro-democracy activism will be severely punished. They mark a continuation of Beijing's overhaul of Hong Kong's political structure, designed to crack down opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.

J&J vaccine pause hurts its reputation

Reproduced from Economist/YouGov poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' confidence in the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine took a big dip this week after the pause in its use, per new YouGov polling, even though the risk of blood clots following the shot is extremely low, if it exists at all.

Why it matters: For the majority of people, particularly high-risk Americans, getting the J&J shot is almost certainly less dangerous than remaining vulnerable to the coronavirus.