Bank of America Corp said on Wednesday it had raised its U.S. minimum hourly wage to $21, as it works to keep its promise of increasing the pay to $25 an hour by 2025.

Bank of America in May disclosed plans to raise its minimum wages for its U.S. employees, joining a clutch of firms that have pledged to pay employees more after a year of pandemic risks and government subsidies fueled conversations on whether companies pay their workers enough. 

The $25 figure is higher than at competitors, and the second-largest U.S. bank has also asked its vendors to set a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

In the last four years, Bank of America raised the minimum hourly wage to $20 from $15.

Companies have sometimes been prodded to boost wages by employee complaints that spill into the public sphere. But there are also political pressures and a competitive reality in which one big company outlines a higher pay scale and others follow suit.

Walmart Corp, Starbucks Corp, Inc and CVS Health have raised or are planning to hike wages.

The current minimum wage at the federal level is $7.25 per hour, enacted more than a decade ago.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; Outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2663 or +91 80 3796 2663 ;))