Forum CEO Calls Report “Gross Mischaracterization”
CONTACT: Julia Lawless
Washington, D.C. – Today, Financial Services Forum President and CEO Kevin Fromer said a new report by the group Better Markets grossly mischaracterized the health and character of the nation’s largest banks.
“In an attempt to politicize a serious hearing and discussion about the United States’ robust financial system, this report offers nothing more than a gross mischaracterization of the response to the global financial crisis. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the complex actions taken by the government to mitigate financial panic and damage to the economy during that time. Further, it impugns the integrity of these institutions and their leaders and tries to undermine the seriousness with which they take their role in serving their customers and the economy as a whole.”
An analysis by the Financial Services Forum found the report incorrectly characterized many federal programs as being created to deal with the fallout from the financial crisis as a “bank bailout.”
While there were some programs designed to support banks, such as the Temporary Liquidity Guaranteed Program (TLGP), a large number were designed with the explicit intent of supporting asset markets and the economy more broadly.
Even though many of these programs were put into effect through the U.S. banking system, banks are best understood as a means of channeling official sector efforts to underlying asset markets and the economy as a whole.
The report targeted several of the members of the Financial Services Forum, which represents the eight, largest most diversified financial institutions headquartered in the United States. Today, these institutions are strong, resilient and supporting the economy. Here’s how:
- We are large employers. Our economy depends on the more than one million employees of the Forum firms who help customers, businesses, investors, and communities.
- We support consumers. Our institutions provide nearly half of all consumer loans. They help families and consumers address a variety of household needs, whether it’s buying a car, closing on a new home or simply saving for the future.
- We support other banks. Forum members meet three-quarters of the funding needs of other financial institutions, such as local community banks.
- We support companies. We underwrite nearly three-quarters of all domestic debt and equity transactions, including IPOs. Start-ups like Lyft and Pinterest go through banks like ours to go public.
- We support small businesses. We hold one-quarter of all small business loans, which help entrepreneurs grow their business and hire new workers.
- We support communities. We have about $150 billion in municipal security holdings to help state and local governments fund infrastructure projects, such as upgrades to local roads and bridges or updates to community hospitals and schools.
To learn more about how large U.S. financial institutions are safe and sound and supporting the economy click here.
The Financial Services Forum is an economic policy and advocacy organization whose members are the chief executive officers of the eight largest and most diversified financial institutions headquartered in the United States. Forum member institutions are a leading source of lending and investment in the United States and serve millions of consumers, businesses, investors, and communities throughout the country. The Forum promotes policies that support savings and investment, deep and liquid capital markets, a competitive global marketplace, and a sound financial system.
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