One-third of shareholders at Goldman Sachs May 7 voted in favor of a resolution seeking greater transparency in the bank’s derivatives trading ventures.
The resolution was the third offered at major banks in recent weeks by representatives of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors.
Although unsuccessful, the resolutions at Citigroup and Bank of America have garnered the support of at least 30 percent of votes, indicating some concern among shareholders for the way the banks conduct business.
Traditionally, shareholder resolutions receive single-digit support the first time they are offered.
ICCR representatives earlier told Catholic News Service that such efforts are aimed at holding major banks accountable in packaging investment packages.
Goldman Sachs, one of the country’s largest banks, has come under fire from politicians and regulators for the way it packaged and sold mortgage-related securities before the 2008 collapse of the housing market.
“The resolution on disclosing collateral policy gave shareholders the chance to use their voice and vote to challenge Goldman Sachs to increase transparency and disclosure,” said Cathy Rowan, corporate responsibility coordinator for the Maryknoll Sisters, in a statement. “I am hopeful that shareholders will continue to feel empowered to seek greater corporate accountability.”
Next up for ICCR: JPMorgan Chase May 18.
The targeted banks are four of the five financial institutions that reportedly account for 96 percent of all derivatives trading in the United States.