2009 Responsible Wealth Shareholder Resolutions
This year, Responsible Wealth members are filing shareholder resolutions in three areas:
- Shareholder "Say on Pay" on Executive Compensation
- Predatory Lending
Shareholder "Say on Pay" on Executive Compensation
With the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street and the struggles of the U.S. auto industry in the news, exorbitant CEO pay has come under intense scrutiny this year from both shareholders and lawmakers. Responsible Wealth members have expressed their concern through Say on Pay shareholder resolutions, which propose giving shareholders a non-binding vote on the pay of senior executives in the company. Say on Pay allows shareholders to provide valuable input in the formulation of CEO compensation packages by opening up dialogue between top executives and shareholders and holding executives more accountable for the company's long-term performance as reflected in their compensation. In 2008-2009 we filed Say on Pay resolutions at Alcoa, Prudential, Target, Schering-Ploug, Yahoo! and FedEx.
The sub-prime lending industry, the dominant financial service provider in low-income communities and among people of color and the elderly, had been the fastest growing part of the financial services industry until the housing bubble began to burst in late 2007. Fair housing activists have identified several abusive lending practices, termed "predatory lending." Among these practices are: charging excessive interest rates relative to the credit risk of the borrower, excessive fees, significant pre-payment penalties (a practice virtually eliminated in conventional mortgage markets), and aggressive marketing practices that result in loan-flipping. The Coalition for Responsible Lending estimates that predatory practices cost borrowers $9 billion a year. These risky lending practices have played a critical role in the crippling of the financial sector, including over 20 bank failures in 2008. In 2008-2009, Responsible Wealth is filing a resolution addressing subprime lending practices at Wells Fargo Bank.
The Community Reinvestment Act requires banking institutions to appropriately address the needs of the communities in which they operate, which include urban, low-income, and immigrant communities. However, the act does not apply to wire transfer providers, such as Western Union. Therefore, Responsible Wealth has teamed up with TIGRA (Transnational Immigrant Grassroots Research and Action) to file a resolution asking that Western Union put more at stake in the low-income communities in which they operate through developing long-term programs that meet the needs of those communities. These programs could help ease the tremendous burden that monthly remittances have on the income of immigrant workers.
Please follow the links below to see the text of the 2009 resolutions.
|Alcoa||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|Prudential||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|Schering-Plough||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|Target||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|Yahoo!||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|FedEx||Say on Pay||Resolution|
|Wells Fargo||Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending||Resolution|
|Western Union||Community Reinvestment Policy||Resolution|
To file or co-file a shareholder resolution, a stockholder must have owned a minimum of $2,000 worth of the company's stock continuously for at least one year. In addition to filing resolutions, Responsible Wealth members also co-file resolutions that are filed by others and assign their proxies to allow others to represent them at annual meetings.
If you are interested in participating in Responsible Wealth's shareholder work, please contact Mike Lapham, Responsible Wealth Project Director at [email protected] or 617-423-2148 x112. For media inquiries, please contact Mazher Ali, Communications Coordinator at [email protected] or 617-423-2148 x101.