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As many as 22 states and the District of Columbia could see increases to their minimum wages in 2019, according to the National Employment Law Project. USA TODAY

Bank of America is raising its starting wage to $17 an hour beginning in May in a longer-term effort to increase it to $20 by 2021.

The retail banking giant currently pays $15 an hour to start.

The raise will affect tens of thousands of the bank’s 205,000 employees at its 4,300 U.S. locations, according to the company.

“We are raising our minimum wage because we believe that to best serve our customers and clients, we need the best teams,” said Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources