Social Investment Forum Pleased With Senate Passage of Key Financial Reforms
Key Corporate Governance Reforms, Consumer Protections, Better Regulation of Derivatives, and Oversight of Credit Rating Agencies Included in Bill
WASHINGTON--The Social Investment Forum (SIF) congratulates the Senate on passing a strong financial reform bill—the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. The bill will foster greater accountability and oversight in America's boardrooms by granting shareholders new rights to remove poorly performing directors and to nominate alternative candidates. In addition, the bill gives stockholders an advisory vote on executive compensation or a “say on pay” at all U.S. publicly traded companies and grants the SEC self funding, The legislation also provides for new regulations for derivatives and hedge funds and greater oversight of credit rating agencies, all items that the Social Investment Forum had identified as legislative priorities.
SIF CEO Lisa Woll said: “The most recent financial crisis highlighted for all Americans the urgent need to instill greater discipline among corporate boards and in financial markets. Majority voting, proxy access and ‘say on pay' will help address these failures and strengthen America's financial markets. SIF members have been filing shareholder proposals at U.S. companies requesting majority voting standards and a ‘say on pay' for more than a decade, so this is a very welcome victory for the socially responsible and sustainable investment community.”
The bill also creates a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Federal Reserve that will crackdown on predatory and other unfair lending practices targeting American consumers. SIF members have been champions of community investing and fair lending practices for decades and also laud the passage of this landmark provision.
Woll added: “We will be watching closely, and remaining active, as the bill goes to conference with the House and will seek to ensure that provisions that weaken the bill are not added.”
The Social Investment Forum (http://www.socialinvest.org) advances investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. The Social Investment Forum is the U.S. membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in socially responsible and sustainable investing (SRI). SIF members support SRI through such strategies as portfolio selection analysis, shareholder advocacy and community investing.