WASHINGTON (AP) — The major trade group representing the securities industry spent $1.3 million in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on new rules governing the financial markets, housing market legislation and other issues, a disclosure report shows.
That exceeds the $1.27 million that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association spent in the third quarter of 2010 but is less than the $1.37 million the group spent in the second quarter of this year.
In response to the crisis that struck in late 2008, the financial overhaul law enacted last year imposed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression. SIFMA lobbied federal agencies on rules being written to put the law into effect and on legislation that would restructure the nation's mortgage-finance system, according to a disclosure report the group filed Oct. 20 with the House clerk's office.
Among the group's top issues were the rules bringing oversight to the market for derivatives — investments whose value hinges on an underlying asset or commodity, such as oil prices, interest rates or pools of mortgage loans. The derivative is designed to reduce the risk of loss from the underlying asset. The lack of regulation of the sprawling $700 trillion derivatives market was widely blamed for helping to precipitate the financial crisis.
Other issues that SIFMA lobbied on during the third quarter included new rules for credit rating agencies, financial information privacy, municipal bonds, retirement plans, trade and taxes, the report shows.
The group lobbied Congress, the White House, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Commerce Department, the Labor Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Trade Representative.
SIFMA's membership is more diverse than that of most financial trade associations. Its members include major Wall Street banks with capital markets businesses, brokerage firms of all sizes, asset managers and consumer-focused investment companies. Among the members are Bank of America Corp., Barclays Capital, Citigroup Inc., Charles Schwab, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs & Co., JPMorgan Securities, Legg Mason and Prudential Financial.
Lobbyists are required by law to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches of government.