Republican AGs Question Proxy Advisors on ESG and Debanking Positions

  • A group of 23 Republican AGs wrote a letter to proxy advisory firms International Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis) warning the companies to cease prioritizing ESG initiatives in a manner that allegedly violates federal and state laws and the companies’ legal duties.
  • In the letter, the AGs assert that federal and state laws require proxy advisors to disregard ESG considerations that conflict with the companies’ duty to maximize financial returns for their clients, and the AGs argue that the companies may be violating their legal duties by opposing transparency-in-debanking proposals meant to prevent banks from engaging in “politicized debanking”—closing accounts of individuals or groups with whom they disagree.
  • The AGs seek written assurances from the companies that they will cease promoting ESG initiatives, and they ask the companies to provide further information regarding their opposition to debanking proposals.
  • We have previously reported on a similar January 2023 letter from 22 Republican AGs to ISS and Glass Lewis.