Wall Street Increases Association Lobbying, Decreases Corporate Visibility

Posted April 25, 2013 at 12:32pm

Some Wall Street and financial firms have decreased their reported lobbying activity in the first quarter, while their trade associations have increased their lobbying expenditures. There is little transparency of corporate contributions to associations, so it is unclear whether corporate funds have simply been shifted, or decreased. Top associations increasing spending on lobbying include the Investment Company Institute (+$465,460), the Financial Services Roundtable (+$360,000) and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (+$160,000).

Organizations are only required to report those expenditures specifically linked to lobbying members of Congress and the executive branch. Many firms do not report indirect lobbying through issue advertising, communications to employees or the general public, or grass-roots activity, such as social media efforts. Some may also not report the costs associated with public relations efforts or strategic planning on how or who to lobby.
In the first quarter, here are selected organizations spending in the first quarter of 2013:
Financial Services Roundtable $2,240,000 — up from $1,880,000.
American Bankers Association $1,600,000 — down from $2,110,000.
Investment Company Institute $1,467,189  up from $1,001,729.
Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association $1,450,000  up from $1,400,000.
Wells Fargo & Company $1,450,000 — down from $1,500,000.
Citigroup Management Corporation $1,300,000 — down from $1,310,000.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. $1,250,000 — up from $850,000.
JP Morgan Chase & Company $1,220,000 — down from $3,160,000.
HSBC North America $1,050,000 — up from $580,000.
National Assn. of Real Estate Investment Trusts $1,050,000  up from $890,000.
Morgan Stanley & Company LLC $1,030,000 — up from $780,000.
Managed Funds Association $1,000,000  up from $950,000.
Independent Community Bankers $960,000 — down from $1,300,000
Bank of America Corporation $860,000 — down from $960,000.
FMR LLC Fidelity Investments $800,000 — down from $910,000.
Mortgage Bankers Association $730,000  up from $665,400.
CIT Group Inc. $690,000 — down from $740,000.
National Venture Capital Association $669,024  up from $541,919.
Charles Schwab Corporation  $610,000 — down from $1,120,000.
Consumer Bankers Association $610,000 — down from $900,000.
Private Equity Growth Capital Council $530,000 — down  from $590,000.
Blackrock Capital Management $520,000 — same as last quarter.
Vanguard Group Inc.$480,000 — down from $610,000.