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March 14, 2013

Regulator sides with big banks on avoiding break-up votes

Regulators have agreed with four of the country’s biggest banks that they will not have to hold shareholder votes at upcoming annual meetings over whether the institutions are too big.

The Securities and Exchange Commission rendered its decision in nearly identical letters to JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America CorpCitigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley that were posted on the agency’s web site on Wednesday.

The letters said agency lawyers agreed with the banks that they need not conduct shareholder votes on proposals from labor and religious groups calling for bank directors to explore breaking up the companies.

The four banks are among the six biggest in the country and are prominent in public arguments over ending too-big-to-fail bailouts.

The SEC letters said there was “some basis” to agree with the banks that the break-up proposals were “vague and indefinite” and therefore should not be in proxy statements for votes at upcoming annual meetings.”

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Read full Reuters article here

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