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Bank of America is 2nd Major U.S. Financial Institution to Face Derivatives Proxy Vote By Shareholders April 26th, 2010
The verdict at BofA’s Wednesday Annual Meeting comes on the heels of a huge 30 percent support at Citigroup on the same Resolution. Of the four derivatives disclosure resolutions being filed, that with BofA may be the most telling, considering how the mishandling of Credit Default Swaps (a type of derivative) tripped up BofA’s Merrill Lynch.
With a much higher-than-expected 30 percent of Citigroup shares voted on April 20th in favor of more disclosure of derivatives practices, the focus now shifts to Bank of America (BofA), where shareholders will vote Wednesday (April 28th) on the same resolution sponsored by faith-based institutional investors belonging to the 300-member Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). The BofA vote will take place as Congress debates the fate of financial regulatory reform, including increased derivatives disclosure.
The resolution gives shareholders an opportunity, as they did at Citigroup, to express their concerns about the lack of transparency in the derivatives market that contributed significantly to the financial crisis. The higher-than-expected vote from Citigroup shareholders resulted even though the United States government, which controls 27 percent of Citigroup as a result of the bank bailouts, failed to fully support the resolution.
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Citigroup Faith-Based Shareholders Call on US Government to Vote Its Shares in Favor of Derivatives Reform April 17th, 2010
Faith-based institutional investors are urging the Obama Administration to send the same message to Wall Street that it is sending to Congress on financial reform. The United States government controls 27 percent of outstanding Citigroup shares, and faith-based shareholders say the US should support their Resolution urging the company to provide more disclosure about its derivatives trading. Voting will take place Tuesday morning at the Citigroup Annual Meeting in New York. The groups, which include the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, are members of the 300-member Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).
Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI, actively engaged in pressing financial institutions for greater transparency and accountability and an ICCR board member, said, “The U.S. government controls over a quarter of outstanding Citigroup shares today. It has an extraordinary opportunity here to send a clear message to Wall Street that more derivatives disclosure is vital. Even more to the point, the Treasury Department really has no choice other than to support our resolution since a failure to do so would directly undercut its campaign for critical financial reform.”
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