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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Top US Banks Disappoint in Investor Study November 22nd, 2013

bank90wFive years after the crisis that rocked the financial world, seven leading U.S. banks scored a disappointing 60 or fewer out of 100 possible points in a benchmarking study released today by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which represents 300 faith-based and socially responsible institutional investors with $100 billion in assets under management. The top banks were evaluated in terms of four key shareholder concerns: executive compensation, risk management, responsible lending and investing, and political contributions.

The financial institutions included in the ICCR report are: Goldman Sachs (60, which scored highest on responsible lending and investment and tied for highest on political contribution practices); Bank of New York (59.02, which scored highest on risk management and tied for highest on political contribution practices); JP Morgan Chase (56.5, which tied for highest on political contribution practices); Morgan Stanley (55.40); Bank of America (55.35); Citi (54.90, which tied for highest on political contribution practices): and Wells Fargo (50.73, which scored highest on executive compensation practices.).

You can find the full report on the ICCR website or download directly here.

Rev. Séamus Finn, director, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and ICCR board vice chair, said: “Five years after the U.S. financial meltdown, some of the banks are beginning to address their risk management protocols, but have much more work to do when it comes to responsible lending and investment. Overall disclosures are also weak, particularly related to both executive compensation and political contributions. What we see in these findings is a somewhat timid group of banks clustered in the average-to-below-average range with no single institution distinguishing itself as a leader for shareholders in the post-financial crisis era.”

Some key takeaways:

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UNCTAD Meeting Overcomes Serious Disagreements April 27th, 2012

At a contentious meeting of the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ending Thursday in Doha, Qatar, the role of the UN organization in examining trade and development was confirmed, but not after a week of hard debate. The Doha Mandate, adopted by consensus by the member States, requests that UNCTAD continue its work along the three pillars of consensus-building, policy research and technical assistance. “UNCTAD remains the focal point in the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development, and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development,” reads part of the agreed text.

Profound discord between industrialized nations and developing countries threatened to ruin the UNCTAD meeting in Doha, and endangered the survival of this United Nations body that defends the interests of the developing nations of the South. Disagreements between the blocs, broadly identified as countries of the North and of the South, have arisen mainly from differing views of UNCTAD’s mandate and different visions of development and how it relates to social, environmental, economic and financial variables. 

One important area under discussion involved giving UNCTAD a mandate to investigate the current global financial crisis and its effects on the real economy, something for which developing countries and NGOs pressed, but which industrialized countries rejected out of hand.

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