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The trade group representing the securities industry spent $1.37 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on new rules governing the financial markets, housing market legislation and an array of other issues, a disclosure report shows.
That was 7 percent less than the $1.48 million that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association spent a year earlier as lawmakers debated landmark legislation to revamp federal oversight of investments and to limit banks' trading activities and establish new protections for mortgage borrowers. It's 3 percent more than the $1.33 million the group spent in this year's first quarter.
In response to the financial crisis that struck in late 2008, the legislation imposed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression. After nearly two years of intense debate, Congress enacted it in July 2010 and President Barack Obama signed it into law.
SIFMA lobbied federal officials about rules being written to put the financial overhaul law into effect and about legislation that would restructure the nation's mortgage-finance system, according to a disclosure report the group filed July 20 with the Senate's public records office.
Among the group's top issues were the rules bringing oversight to the market for derivatives -- investments whose value hinges on an underlying asset or commodity, such as oil futures, interest rates or pools of mortgage loans. The derivative is designed to reduce the risk of loss from the underlying asset.
Other issues that SIFMA lobbied on during the second quarter included financial information privacy, pensions, patent reform, trade, taxes, U.S.-European regulatory issues and rulemaking by stock exchanges, the report shows.
The group lobbied Congress, the White House, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Commerce Department and the Labor Department.
SIFMA's membership is more diverse than that of most financial trade associations. Its members include major Wall Street banks with capital markets businesses, brokerage firms of all sizes, asset managers and consumer-focused investment companies. Among the members of the organization are Bank of America, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Charles Schwab, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Securities, Legg Mason and Prudential Financial.
Among those registered to lobby on behalf of the organization is Matthew McGinley, formerly chief of staff to Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who heads the Republican Policy Committee. McGinley also worked for former Rep. Brian Kerns, R-Ind., in 2002-03, according to the report.
Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches of government under a federal law enacted in 1995.