US banks under proxy fire as 30% back NY funds’ mortgage crisis report call at Citi

Investors target Wells Fargo meeting next week.

A shareholder proposal from the $109bn New York City Pension Funds calling for Citigroup to review and report on its mortgage and foreclosures practices received almost 30% support from investors at the banking giant’s annual shareholder meeting last week.
It comes ahead of a similar resolution on foreclosures filed by the NYC funds at next week’s AGM of Wells Fargo in San Francisco on May 3. The Wells Fargo proxy document is available here
A third resolution put down by the New York funds on the same issue will be voted on by shareholders at Bank of America on May 11.
The resolution at Citi attracted 3.93bn votes in favour – or 29.3% – on the basis of votes ‘for’ divided by votes cast for and against, excluding abstentions.
New York City Comptroller John Liu in a statement ahead of the vote, said: “An independent audit of Citigroup’s mortgage and foreclosure policies would ensure that the bank is playing by the rules.” The New York City Pension funds hold a combined stake of $281.7m (€192.5m) in Citigroup.Citi had advised investors to vote against the proposal, stating that it has helped more than 1m borrowers avoid potential foreclosure proceedings since 2007.
Among investors known to have voted for with the NYC funds are Christian Brothers Investment Services, CalPERS, the Florida State Board of Administration and the giant Dutch pension funds APG and PGGM.
A separate resolution filed by the Kansas City Firefighters’ Pension System calling on Citigroup to publish a bi-annual report on its policy for political contributions garnered 3.3bn votes in favour with 7.79bn votes against and 4.7bn abstentions. Citigroup said it would adopt another resolution calling for an annual advisory vote on executive pay.
Regarding Wells Fargo’s AGM next week, proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis & Co. and ISS have recommended voting against lead director Philip Quigley, according to the San Francisco Business Times. It added that ISS has advised investors to support all shareholder resolutions except for one calling for an annual review of board pay. Citigroup AGM results