VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/14/14)—Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), including American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), have withdrawn their proposal for a comprehensive report on JPMorgan Chase’s business standards in exchange for a commitment by the bank to provide in fall 2014 a detailed report of its risk mitigation efforts.
The shareholder proposal highlights the ethical and oversight lapses that have plagued JPMorgan Chase for the past two years and led to numerous multi-billion dollar federal and regulatory fines. In requesting the report, the shareholders cited “reputational danger” and a deterioration of faith on the part of regulators, clients, customers and the general public that the company is adequately overseeing risks.
“All of us have been observing the financial global bank scandals with deep concern. Clearly these are scandals and ethical breaches that not only directly impact investors’ economic interests but also have a profound effect on our global economy and society,” says David L. Moore Jr., CFA, ABHMS Director of Investments and a member of ICCR’s Financial Practices and Risk Team. “It is important for ABHMS with other ICCR investors to engage and press banks where they own shares to make changes addressing risk controls and to be more transparent about reforms and progress evaluation. So we are announcing agreements made with JPMorgan Chase resulting in the withdrawal of the business standards shareholder resolution.”
Specifically, the proposal called for a list of each major legal issue under investigation or settled and for reporting on efforts to address the following:
- the bank’s reputational credibility problem;
- rebuilding commitment to ethics by staff;
- new checks and balances mandated by the board and management addressing risk;
- new structures of board accountability and oversight; and
- a description of whistle blower protection measures.
In the “Ranking the Banks” study undertaken by ICCR members in 2012 to benchmark the performance of the seven leading U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase lagged behind its peers in key performance indicators related to risk management.
Currently celebrating its 43rd year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view management of their investments as a catalyst for change. Its 300 member organizations with more than $100 billion in assets under management have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.
ABHMS is a founding member of ICCR.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.