Policy: Financial Reform
Investors focused on the long term understand that the capital markets are most efficient when rules and regulations support robust markets, systemic risk protections, oversight of corporate directors and management, and provide access to information about company environmental and social policies, practices and performance.
Despite the rise in the markets since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, confidence in the US markets remains damaged by the financial crisis. According to a Gallup poll (released April 2017), 54 percent of Americans currently have money in the stock market—just 2 percent above the lowest ownership rate in Gallup's 20-year trend. The highest ownership rate—65 percent of Americans—was reported in 2007, just before the global financial crisis.
US SIF supports financial reform policies that protect against systemic risk, promotes disclosure and transparency in financial markets, protects shareholder rights, and provide adequate funding for regulatory agencies to implement laws and regulations.
Priority Areas of Action
Financial CHOICE Act (HR 10): The Financial CHOICE Act was passed in June 2017 in the US House of representatives with the specific intent to roll back many of the systemic protections created by the Dodd Frank law. Additionally, it seeks to starve market regulators of appropriate funding, shutters market transparency and eviscerates the ability of most shareholders to file resolutions. US SIF opposes the CHOICE Act and urges the Senate to not take up this bill.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Passage of Dodd Frank was a critical priority for sustainable and responsible investors. US SIF championed Dodd-Frank's efforts to combat the loopholes and weaknesses in regulation of US financial markets that led to the financial crisis of 2008 and which wiped out equity for individual and institutional investors. Among other achievements, Dodd-Frank has improved the material information available to all investors by mandating key corporate disclosures, which in turn helps to maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets and to facilitate capital formation.
Letters and Statements
US SIF Statement on House Approval of the Financial CHOICE Act 06/2017
US SIF Letter to the House opposing the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) 6/2/17
US SIF Letter on Section 844 of the Discussion Draft of the Financial CHOICE Act 04/2017
US SIF Affirms Support For The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act 03/2017
Statement By Lisa Woll, CEO, US SIF On The Anniversary Of The Signing Of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act 07/2016
US SIF Letter to House-Senate Conference Committee on Priority Financial Reform Issues 06/2010
US SIF Letter to the Senate on Financial Reform Bill 04/2010
Lisa Woll and Joe Keefe Op Ed in Huffington Post on Financial Reform 04/2010
US SIF Letter to Senate Banking Committee on Financial Reform 02/2010
US SIF Letter to Congress on Financial Reform 02/2010