(Reuters) - Santander Holdings USA Inc, a unit of Madrid-based Banco Santander S.A. (SAN.MC), said on Monday it would close its offices and branches at noon on June 19, to commemorate ‘Juneteenth’, or the end of slavery in the United States.
June 19 commemorates the U.S. abolition of slavery by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was belatedly announced in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865, after the end of the Civil War.
“This year, Juneteenth is especially moving as our nation wrestles with inequities and injustices that have persisted throughout its history, with renewed urgency,” Santander Holdings Chief Executive Officer Tim Wennes said in a statement.
The death of African American George Floyd in police custody late last month has triggered widespread protests against racism and police brutality, while also reigniting the debate on diversity and inclusion among corporate companies.
Reporting by C Nivedita; Editing by Maju Samuel