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Portfolio Manager's Message to Citigroup, Bank of America, & JP Morgan: "Stop Protecting Director Misconduct."

Submitted by: Harrington Investments, Inc.

Categories: Corporate Governance, Business Ethics

Posted: Dec 13, 2011 – 01:28 PM EST


SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 13 /CSRwire/ - Harrington Investments, Inc., (HII) a socially responsible investment advisory firm has filed shareholder resolutions calling on Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase to stop indemnifying directors against civil and criminal liabilities. 

“The next time one of these banks commits a crime, their directors would not automatically have their defense paid for with shareholder funds,” said John Harrington, President/CEO of Harrington Investments.

It is the fiduciary responsibility of corporate directors to ensure that publicly traded corporations have adequate oversight and legal compliance measures in place. Failure to do so is negligence and should be considered criminal neglect,” added Harrington.

“These are serious issues that need to be taken seriously.  Nothing short of our national security is on the line,” concluded Harrington.

Over $270 billion of taxpayer funds were used to bail out Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase following the 2009 financial meltdown. Since then they have failed to make adequate policy reforms necessary to avert ongoing controversies and not one director has been charged with corporate malfeasance.

“From ‘mistakenly’ foreclosing on foreign-deployed servicemembers (with pregnant wives), to systematically defrauding schools, non-profits and hospitals, to misleading their own customers and investors, to submitting tens of thousands of improper foreclosure affidavits, to paying themselves outrageously after imploding the US economy, the bankers seem immune to moral suasion or legal sanction,” wrote Jack Ucciferri, Research and Advocacy Director and head of HII’s Santa Barbara office.

“This ongoing lack of accountability is why we have introduced shareholder resolutions seeking to enhance director oversight by reducing knee-jerk indemnification of those directors,” Mr. Ucciferri concluded.

For the past 30 years, Harrington Investments, Inc. has been pioneering socially responsible investing and shareholder advocacy. HII manages assets for institutional and individual investors concerned with social and environmental, as well as financial performance.

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