Americans for Financial Reform sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee supporting the Credit Card Competition Act of 2023. The Credit Card Competition Act will introduce much needed competition in a captured market and benefit consumers.
AFR sent a letter in opposition to four legislative proposals that the House Committee on Education and the Workforce is scheduled to consider at its September 14th Full Committee Markup. These bills’ amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) would undermine workers’ retirement security and are part of a broader political campaign against common sense investment practices. The campaign seeks to force financial actors to ignore a slew of financial risks regardless of the consequences for workers’ retirement security and the integrity of our financial system.
Americans for Financial Reform sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee opposing bills that undermine shareholders’ ability to make sound financial decisions and hold corporations accountable. In our letter, we provide an overview of the bills noticed during the various ESG hearings and briefly discuss why we oppose them.
Letters to Congress: Letter to Senate Banking Calling for Mandatory Clawbacks of Incentive-Based Executive Compensation
AFR led a coalition letter to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee ahead of their hearing titled “Holding Executives Accountable for Recent Bank Failures.” The letter calls for mandatory clawbacks of incentive-based executive compensation and gains from stock trades in cases of bank failure.
AFREF joined a letter led by the Open Markets Institute and supported by 50 labor and public interest groups urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban non-compete clauses as well as functionally equivalent restraints such as training repayment agreement provisions (or TRAPs), for all workers.
President Biden’s and Congress’s efforts to begin to hold the executives of Silicon Valley Branch accountable are important to rein in the reckless and imprudent practices of senior bank executives, who have gamed our financial system and hurt communities in the process. True accountability includes executives forfeiting enormous bonuses, while their bank is on the brink of failure.
Letters to Regulators: Comment Letter to OMB on Uniform Guidance Relating to Stock Buybacks and Executive Comepensation
AFREF and the Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project led a comment letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about its uniform guidance, which sets the boundaries around the types of strings states and localities are allowed to attach when they disburse federal funds. This comment letter argues state and local governments should be allowed to give preferential treatment to bidders that commit to make productive investments in their companies and refrain from stock buybacks and excessive executive compensation.
Letters to Regulators: Letter to the SEC Commenting on Listing Standards for Recovery of Erroneously Awarded Compensation
AFREF submitted a comment letter in support of the SEC’s proposed rule on clawbacks of erroneously-awarded executive compensation. Once finalized, the rule will signify the long-overdue implementation of a Dodd-Frank provision that sought to improve incentives for honest and transparent corporate governance by creating a mechanism for the clawing back of compensation awarded based on inaccurate financial statements. AFREF submitted a comment in support of the proposed rule in 2015, and submitted this additional comment to answer questions raised by the Commission upon reopening the comment period
AFREF sent a letter commenting on the Security and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule to increase the transparency and efficiency of the securities lending market. Having already commented in support of the proposed rule, we submitted an additional comment to address its corporate governance implications. The securities lending market—as it pertains to equity shares—has important corporate governance implications, as investors cannot vote shares on loan. In our comment, we recommend the Commission enhance the proposed rule’s public disclosures to give investors the tools they need to ensure the securities lending practices of asset managers and retail brokers do not interfere with investors’ role in corporate governance.
AFREF sent a letter commenting on the Security and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule to implement Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, relating to executive compensation for financial performance. The letter welcomes the SEC’s implementation of this important provision and makes recommendations to minimize executives’ incentives to focus on short-term shareholder returns at the expense of longer-term investments that contribute to equitable and sustainable economic growth over time.