Showing posts with label Banks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banks. Show all posts

December 27, 2017

And Now: Foreclosures for Puerto Rico's Homeowners } Anymore Paper Towels Donald?

LENDERS TO PUERTO Rican homeowners have kicked foreclosures into high gear in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, skirting local and federal borrower protections. According to attorneys and experts, lenders have ignored federal moratoria on foreclosures; placed notices of default in newspapers where they’re unlikely to be seen; sent files to homeowners in English rather than Spanish; and required residents to complete tasks that are borderline impossible without electrical power yet fully restored, among other abuses.
The foreclosure horrors add to Puerto Rico’s Dickensian experience of late. Close to 35 percent of the island remains without power after Hurricane Maria, with full restoration not expected until May. At least 100,000 people have left the island. Abandoned pets are everywhere. Government services have been slashed or hobbled. Even one major proposed solution, wiping out Puerto Rico’s debt, will take a personal cost: The bonds represent the life savings of many residents to whom the financial products were aggressively marketed without explanation of the downsides.
Ultimately, the expected wave of foreclosures could prove worse than what happened in the most hard-hit areas in the U.S. mainland during the Great Recession. According to the New York Times, roughly one-third of 425,000 Puerto Rican homeowners have fallen behind on mortgage payments, and with jobs scarce after the hurricane, that number will likely grow. In fact, the economy of the island could collapse, as the Republican tax bill imposes a 20 percent tax on offshore exports — a category that includes Puerto Rican manufacturing.
But if you think America learned lessons from the orgy of illegality that accompanied foreclosures in the United States after 2008, just look to Puerto Rico. Despite new rules to prevent foreclosure fraud, Puerto Rico appears to be Exhibit A in its continuation — and it’s only just beginning.

Piles of home foreclosure documents inside wooden paper holders in the court of first instance, in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AP

FORECLOSURES RAVAGED PUERTO Rico even before Maria, up 130 percent in 2016 relative to a decade before. Adding two hurricanes to the equation makes the island’s residents ripe for a gargantuan ripoff. 
The foreclosure process in Puerto Rico resembles the judicial foreclosure process on the mainland. Lenders must follow federal guidelines on notifying borrowers of default and giving them an opportunity to cure debt. Then lenders can file a lawsuit for foreclosure. Judges are obligated to impose mandatory mediation, bringing borrowers and lenders to the table to work out a resolution. Only if that doesn’t work can lenders obtain a judgment and evict the homeowner.
However, what sounds like substantive protections for the borrower often don’t play out that way. “Many times they don’t know about their rights,” said Veronica Rivera, a coordinator for Derecho a Tu Casa or Right to Your House — a coalition of legal aid groups providing information and assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. “They think that the bank would understand that they can’t pay because they lost their jobs. It surprises me sometimes how much trust people have in the banks.”
For example, after Hurricane Maria, the federal government imposed a foreclosure moratorium on homes either backed by government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or those with Federal Housing Administration insurance. The FHA moratorium was recently extended to March 19, 2018, but it only applies to a sliver of loans. The Fannie and Freddie moratoria were set to expire on December 31, but the lenders this week made an extension until March 31. Banks and mortgage investors voluntarily offered three months of relief from payments, but homeowners had to call their lender to trigger it. “The banks said you have to call,” said Rivera. “We didn’t have internet for more than a month, didn’t have electricity, no communication. Many didn’t know.”
“They think that the bank would understand that they can’t pay because they lost their jobs. It surprises me sometimes how much trust people have in the banks.”
Indeed, a report from the public interest firm Hedge Clippers shows that one company, Roosevelt Cayman Asset Co., has 289 active foreclosure cases in federal court and another 56 in local Puerto Rican courts. Federal courts, typically not a venue for foreclosure cases, are seen as faster than local courts, so offshore companies like Roosevelt lean heavily on them. 
Even after the hurricane, Roosevelt has filed motions for default judgment or eviction in the cases. The Intercept has reviewed lists of dozens of these motions. For example, Roosevelt filed a motion for eviction of Ernesto Santiago-Guzman and his family on October 11, three weeks after Maria hit, and a motion for default judgment against Elias Rivera-Rivera on October 12. U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpí denied that request because the case was only initiated a month before the hurricanes, “which trashed the entire island of Puerto Rico.” The judge postponed the case until March.
Other judges have not been so kind. Docket entries show that Roosevelt secured a default judgment against Carlos Gonzalez-Luna’s property on October 23.
Many of the loans Roosevelt acted on were purchased in a fire sale from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after the 2015 failure of Doral Bank, a lender with a large portfolio of Puerto Rican mortgages. These loans were severely delinquent, some over two years. Federally insured distressed mortgages in Puerto Rico have become an appetizing target for Wall Street land speculators seeking to make a quick buck and turn Puerto Rico into a playground for the rich. 
An unidentified Puerto Rico homeowner submitted a comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaint database, claiming that Roosevelt is “not flexible and expressed that they just want to acquire the home to build their house portfolio.”
Critics allege Roosevelt uses sleazy tactics to get default judgments. “Since the hurricane, they’ve sought to use service by publication, publishing names in the newspaper to serve the lawsuits. Who’s reading the newspaper these days?” asked Jim Baker, founder of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, who helped with the Hedge Clippers report. “Then they ask for default judgment because they served papers and the homeowners haven’t responded. In most cases, they’re getting [the judgment],” he added, referring to Roosevelt. 
Roosevelt is an affiliate of Rushmore Loan Management Services, which in turn services loans owned by private equity giant TPG Capital, managers of $73 billion in assets. While TPG spokesperson Patrick Clifford claims only a client relationship between Rushmore and TPG, Rushmore’s principal owners are senior TPG executives. A June 2017 report lists Rushmore as the second-largest repossessor on the island, behind only Banco Popular, Puerto Rico’s main bank.
(A new TPG “impact investing” fund includes on its board Pierre Omidyar, founder of First Look Media, The Intercept’s parent company.)
Activist groups held protests outside TPG headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday, calling for an end to foreclosures on the island. Related demonstrations were held in eight cities around the world. “This is the first of many companies hurting the people of Puerto Rico and it will be one of many we will be scrutinizing,” said Julio López Varona, a spokesperson for Hedge Clippers, in a statement. “We have asked TPG and Rushmore directly to stop their foreclosures and we will continue to target them until they stop harming Puerto Ricans.”
This appears to have made an impact. Rushmore claims to have “instituted an immediate suspension of foreclosure proceedings in Puerto Rico,” per spokesperson Steven Goldberg, including stopping notice by publication. The length of the freeze is indefinite.
“Rushmore pursues the loan modification or other alternatives to foreclosure first in all cases and remains fully committed to working to keep as many borrowers as possible in their homes,” Goldberg said, “especially in light of the extremely challenging circumstances caused by the hurricane.” He said the company has conducted “extensive outreach efforts” to contact borrowers, given communication problems on the island. Goldberg even provided the number to Rushmore’s Puerto Rico office, (877) 509-8389, and its Spanish and English websites, urging borrowers to contact them to seek a resolution to their situations.

TPG’s Clifford added, “We’ve been in constructive dialogue with various advocacy groups, and we plan to continue having those conversations because they are important.”

 EVEN IF HOMEOWNERS were lucky or savvy enough to fall under the foreclosure moratorium, it expires December 31 for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by March for FHA-insured loans. Many have called for those to be extended, but no decision has been made.

The voluntary payment moratoria also expire in January. In an opinion piece for the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia, Ricardo J. Ramos González, who runs the Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Law, warned residents that the payment moratorium merely comprised forbearance, not a cancellation of payments. “Those who accepted the moratorium on payments could very well face a process of collection and eventual foreclosure of their main home, if they are required to pay three months plus the current term,” González wrote. He endorsed a yearlong moratorium on foreclosures, similar to those instituted in some states during the Great Depression.
When foreclosure notices and letters from lenders come in the mail in Puerto Rico, they are typically in English. But many Puerto Ricans only speak Spanish. Unlike in local courts, federal court filings are similarly in English, putting homeowners at a disadvantage.
Rivera of Derecho a tu Casa claims that lenders have been negotiating loss mitigation with borrowers while also pursuing foreclosure, a scheme known as “dual tracking,” which is supposed to be illegal under federal mortgage servicing laws and local law in Puerto Rico. The mediation process has not assisted borrowers more generally. “Lawyers cannot participate in the process unless the client gives us special power,” said Rivera. Worse, lenders send representatives who are not empowered to make decisions, she explained. “It’s a pro forma process,” said Rivera. “The banks do not have to give a specific option.”
Foreclosure lawyers in Puerto Rico are also finding the same discrepancies in foreclosure processing that roiled the United States after the crisis. This is not surprising since those errors never really stopped in the United States. Rivera alleges that investors who came in and scooped up distressed mortgages didn’t follow property records procedures. “There have been cases where there is no mortgage. They don’t have the note,” Rivera said.
The endgame of aggressively foreclosing on properties in Puerto Rico — where there is little hope of turning them around to make a profit — is unclear. Offshore lenders “made this investment a couple years ago,” said Baker of Private Equity Stakeholder Project. “They’re churning through the portfolio. Maybe they believe the land is worth more than keeping people in the homes.” The insurance payouts also benefit offshore purchasers of distressed mortgages; that alone could turn a profit relative to the small price paid.
Derecho a tu Casa offers resources at its website to educate homeowners and also representation for those who qualify. “Many people get depressed and we want to give them hope,” Rivera said. “I can see the difference when I represent someone.” 

July 16, 2017

Chase CEO Says " Sometimes It Feel Embarrassing to be An American Now"

NEW YORK — Since President Trump’s election, Jamie Dimon has emerged as one of Wall Street’s most prominent voices in Washington. The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase serves on the White House business advisory council and is chairman of the powerful Business Roundtable.

But in a series of calls on Friday to discuss the big bank’s quarterly profits, Dimon vented his frustration with gridlock in Washington. “It’s almost embarrassing being an American citizen … and listening to the stupid s— we have to deal with in this country,” Dimon said in one conference call. The inability to make headway on significant legislation is “holding us back and it is hurting the average American. It isn’t a Republican issue; it is not a Democratic issue.”

Dimon has resisted calls from shareholders to step down from Trump’s business council and fell short of criticizing the Republican on Friday. “We have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet,” he said. ” … And at one point we all have to get our act together or we won’t do what we’re supposed to do for the average Americans.”

Since the Great Recession, the nation’s economy has been growing at a rate of 1.5 percent to 2 percent despite “stupidity and political gridlock because the American business sector is powerful and strong,” Dimon said. “What I am saying is it will be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and we were not gridlocked.”

The usually affable Dimon leads the largest bank in the country with more than $2 trillion in assets and what Dimon has described as a “fortress” balance sheet. That has made Dimon one of Wall Street’s most influential forces in Washington. That clout appears to be growing. In February, when Trump announced a broad effort to ease regulations on Wall Street, particularly the Dodd Frank financial reform measures adopted in 2010, he singled out Dimon’s potential contribution. “There is nobody better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie,” Trump said, motioning toward the 61-year-old executive from across a table.

Dimon’s criticisms of the ways of Washington came as some of the largest banks in the country — JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — reported larger-than-expected quarterly profits on Friday. The banks said they had received a boost from a slight increase in interest rates.
JPMorgan’s second-quarter profits rose 13 percent to $7 billion compared with the same period last year. Revenue rose about 5 percent to $26 billion. Wells Fargo’s second-quarter profit rose to $5.8 billion compared with $5.56 billion in 2016. At Citigroup net income fell about 3 percent to $3.87 billion during the second quarter but still beat analysts expectations.

“Banks are taking advantage of the healthy economy and increasing their lending, and that will improve results in the future,” said Ken Leon, banking industry analyst for CFRA.
But banking stocks declined slightly as investors appeared to be disappointed that JPMorgan and Citigroup reported declines in trading revenue. Volatility in U.S. stock and bond markets has been relatively low in recent months, making it more difficult to profit from market swings. JPMorgan also lowered how much it expects to bring in from net interest income, a key indicator of bank profitability, this year.

Some investors may also be taking advantage of the jump in bank stock prices after Trump’s election and trying to secure a profit, industry analysts said. Despite a slight dip Friday, JPMorgan and Citigroup stocks are up 6 percent and 12 percent respectively so far this year. Wells Fargo, which is still struggling to repair its image from its fake accounts scandal, is flat in 2017 so far.

Trump has promised to loosen regulations on the banking sector that he says became too strict after the 2008 financial crisis. That has raised hopes among big banks that they will have greater flexibility in how they use their money and gain relief from the yearly “stress tests” they must pass to prove they could survive another economic crisis. While the House has passed legislation encompassing many of the industry’s wishes, the Senate has yet to take up the issue, and many banking executives now don’t expect significant action until next year.

But the issues facing the United States are bigger than the bank’s quarterly profit reports, Dimon said. “Who cares about fixed-income trading in the last two weeks in June? I mean, seriously?”
Dimon noted that he had recently traveled to several countries, including France, Argentina and Israel, and met with the prime ministers of India and China. “It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of those countries for jobs and wages,” he said. “Business doing well is good for the citizens of the country.”

[This influential Silicon Valley firm is compiling a blacklist of investors accused of harassing women](http://Read more)
Renae Merle covers white collar crime and Wall Street for The Washington Post.
Democracy Dies in Darkness
© 1996-2017 The Washington Post

May 9, 2015

Major Banks Will Erase Consumer Old Debts -Under Investigation from Justice-

Two of the nation’s biggest banks will finally put to rest the zombies of consumer debt — bills that are still alive on credit reports although legally eliminated in bankruptcy — potentially providing relief to more than a million Americans.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to update borrowers’ credit reports within the next three months to reflect that the debts were extinguished.

The move is a victory for borrowers whose credit reports have been marred as a result of the reported debts, imperiling their job prospects and torpedoing their chances of getting new loans.

The change by the banks emerged this week in Federal Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, where the two banks, along with Citigroup and Synchrony Financial, formerly GE Capital Retail Finance, face lawsuits accusing them of deliberately ignoring bankruptcy discharges to fetch more money when they sell off pools of bad debt to financial firms. 

Bernadette Gatling said she has lost job opportunities because employers viewed her credit report, which included voided debts.Debts Canceled by Bankruptcy Still Mar Consumer Credit ScoresNOV. 12, 2014
The lawsuits accuse the banks of engineering what amounts to a subtle but ruthless debt collection tactic, effectively holding borrowers’ credit reports hostage, refusing to fix the mistakes unless people pay money for debts that they do not actually owe.

It is not the only pressure. Lawyers with the United States Trustee Program, an arm of the Justice Department, are investigating the banks, said several people briefed on the inquiry, about whether the banks are deliberately flouting federal bankruptcy law.

In an apparent, if oblique, reference to the inquiry, a lawyer for Synchrony Financial told the judge at a hearing this year that the lender was under “investigation” by the Justice Department.

JPMorgan, Synchrony Financial and Bank of America declined to comment for this article.

But the banks have offered defenses in court documents, arguing that they comply with the law and accurately report discharged debts to the credit agencies. Their lawyers have also argued that the banks typically sell off debts to third-party debt buyers and have no stake in recouping payments on the overdue bills. The banks’ practices were the subject of a front-page article in The New York Times.

Without admitting any wrongdoing, lawyers for JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America agreed to ensure that bankruptcies were registered on credit reports. A lawyer for JPMorgan Chase, according to court documents, said that by August the bank would ensure that all debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy were correctly recorded.

Late last year, Synchrony Financial agreed to provide similar relief, at least on a temporary basis.

Under federal law, once a borrower has erased a debt in bankruptcy, banks are required to update the credit reports to indicate that the debt is no longer owed, and remove any notation of “past due” or “charged off.”

Bank of America promised to go further, agreeing to fundamentally change the way the bank reports all the stale debts that are sold to financial firms. For all credit-card debts sold since May 2007, court records show, the bank will remove any marks on consumers’ credit reports. That way, a lawyer said, “should a previously sold credit card account go through a bankruptcy discharge,” the mark will already be gone. 

They are people like Bernadette Gatling, a hospital administrator, who went through bankruptcy to void debts she owed on Chase credit cards. While the process was grueling, she said, she thought it would offer her a second chance.

She was floored in March 2014 when three years after bankruptcy, she found that her credit report was still marred by the seemingly unvanquishable debts.

“I lost job after job because of this,” she said, adding that potential employers would suddenly stop calling once they viewed her credit report.

There has been a fierce battle over the lawsuits, brought by Charles Juntikka, a bankruptcy lawyer in Manhattan, and George F. Carpinello, a partner with Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
Judge Robert D. Drain, who is presiding over the cases, has repeatedly refused the banks’ requests to throw out the lawsuits. In July, when he refused to dismiss the case against JPMorgan, he said, “The complaint sets forth a cause of action that Chase is using the inaccuracy of its credit reporting on a systematic basis to further its business of selling debts and its buyer’s collection of such debt.”

At a hearing in April, transcripts show, the judge criticized Citigroup for not changing the way it reports debts to the credit reporting agencies. “I continue to believe there’s one reason, and one reason only, that Citibank refuses to change its policy,” the judge said. The reason, the judge went on, is “because it makes money off of it.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Citigroup said the bank “takes this issue very seriously,” adding that the bank has made a proposal to the plaintiff’s lawyers “consistent” with what the other banks have proposed.

In the hearing this week, lawyers for Citigroup indicated that they were on the brink of making a change similar to what Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to, an alteration that could change the credit reports of tens of thousands of people. For many borrowers, the credit report is the difference between getting a job and being turned down.

With so much at stake, borrowers are willing to do almost anything — even pay debts that they worked hard to discharge in bankruptcy.

Diane Torres, who went through bankruptcy in 2010, said she was on the verge of becoming one of the people who paid for debts she no longer owed. The only thing that stopped her, Ms. Torres said, was that she could not afford it. 
The problems began, Ms. Torres said, when she applied for a job with a credit union and was told that her credit report showed she had two delinquent accounts — one on a Chase credit card and the other on a credit card from GE Money Bank. Unless she fixed the problem, Ms. Torres said, she would not get the job.

When she contacted both lenders, Ms. Torres said, she was told that unless she paid, the debts would remain as charged off.

“I felt desperate,” she said. “It was urgent that I pay these debts or else I would not get the job that I really needed.” But after, at the suggestion of her bankruptcy lawyer, she provided the credit union with a record that she had voided the debts in bankruptcy, she got the job.

A version of this article appears in print on May 8, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: 2 Banks Agree to Erase Debts From Credit Reports After Bankruptcies . 

November 27, 2013

Not Making Much on Money Kept at Your Bank-It could change by You Paying the Bank Instead

  •  I hear people complaint that they don’t make any money on checking or savings any more. How about having to pay the bank to keep your money with them? We were told by the banks that they wanted our money. Think about all those commercials we have been watching and listening to since we were growing up. It’s true they want your money, what they didn’t tell you and me is that they want to keep our money…for good! 

  • The banks call it “lazy behavior” You and I will call it something else.You can make your own name! ‘Lazy Behavior’ Bank customers could look forward to being charged to keep their money in U.S. banks.
  • That’s the latest threat coming out of Wall Street, according to a report in the Financial Times, as financial institutions look to combat a possible interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve on its bank reserves.
  • { Plain language from adamfoxie: The feds are making the banks keep what they think is too much money to cover their transactions. The feds pays them the interest rate, which varies sometimes. The feds have lowered interest rates to help the economy by making it cheaper for business to borrow money. Plenty of money around to keep things functioning well. The banks don’t have a problem with that but since the feds want to lower the rates more, the banks will make less money on the supply of money that they have, thus wanting to charge somebody for making a bit less profit. That someone is always the consumer since it’s the one with less power to kick back. As for the term ‘Lazy” I think is the wrong term, so I will let you give it your own name but lazy is not so bad a name, since that’s the name we give someone who doesn’t want to work for their money. I’m sure some will start calling it pillow talk or Mattress investment }
  • This latest potential step would be a hit to depositors, already earning close to zero interest on checking and savings accounts.
  • But the banks say it’s a side effect of the Fed’s quantitative-easing strategy and its eventual tapering of its asset purchases of $85 billion a month, which has created high liquidity within banks. The report cited executives at two of the top five U.S. banks, who said a cut in the 0.25 percent rate of interest on the $2.4 trillion in reserves they hold at the Fed would lead them to pass on the cost to depositors.
  • If you look at the chart, the amount of cash held at the Fed used to be negligible but is now in excess of $2.3 trillion. The logic is that the Fed wants the banks to stop parking their “lazy cash” at the Fed and start doing something with it, say experts.
  • FederalReserve Bank of St. Louis
  •  “From the Fed’s point of view, by discouraging banks from leaving their excess cash at the fed, they are encouraging banks to buy securities in the market (the same as the what they are doing with quantitative-easing purchases) or to go out into the market and make loans,” said Joshua Siegel, managing partner and CEO at StoneCastle Partners.
  • And banks, given their current capital requirements, can be a little riskier, and funds being deployed back into the market would be good for the economy, noted Siegel.
  • “My understanding is that banks are supposed to lend to make profit,” said Brad Hintz, analyst at Alliance Bernstein. “And not just recycle cash to the Federal Reserve.”
  • Savings accounts don’t actually cost that much to operate for banks, but checking accounts do actually cost a lot of money and have a great benefit to consumers. While customers do pay for these via minimum-balance requirements, when there is a low-interest environment, it’s not much revenue for banks.
  • In the last few years, the debit-fee legislation coming out of the Durbin Amendment as part of the Dodd Frank Act has limited transaction fees imposed on merchants by debit card issuers. That has effectively hit consumer-banking revenues pretty hard, say analysts.
  • But the interest on excess reserves was a temporary stop-gap measure allowing banks to earn interest by holding money at the Fed. What the Fed is now saying is that it was never meant to be permanent.
  • – Sital S. Patel
  • – Follow The Tell on Twitter @thetellblog
  • Adam Gonzalez, Publisher 

April 30, 2012

Wall St Execs Convene Again on LGTB Work Rights

Top Wall Street Executives Convene for First Time on LGBT Equality

Bank of America and CEO Brian Moynihan Host Second Annual Event

NEW YORK, Apr 30, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Top executives, including CEOs, from some of Wall Street's biggest banks, along with C-suite executives from other industries will meet to discuss LGBT equality at the second annual Out on the Street Leadership Summit on May 2, 2012. Bank of America Merrill Lynch will host the event at its New York headquarters. This represents the first time that so many senior executives will meet to discuss LGBT equality.
Building on the success of the inaugural summit in 2011, the 2012 summit will focus on the role that support for LGBT equality can play in the retention of talent and the conduct of business. In addition to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, featured speakers include, Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs; Paul Singer, CEO of Elliott Capital Management; Ken Mehlman, head of global public affairs, KKR; Lynn Utter, president & COO, Knoll Furniture; John Veihmeyer, Chairman, CEO KPMG LLP; and special guest moderator George Stephanopoulos from ABC.
The senior-level representation at the full-day summit reflects the groundbreaking role 
financial services, in particular Wall Street banks, have taken in advancing LGBT rights. Whether reimbursing LGBT employees' pay to address the tax inequalities of domestic 
partner benefits or taking highly visible stances on marriage equality, these leaders exemplify the willingness of financial services companies to go beyond the relative safety of employee engagement issues, such as support for LGBT employee groups, into larger issues affecting their LGBT employees.
"We are proud to support the cause of LGBT equality. People are the most valuable resource our company has, and our support for initiatives like this one matters deeply to them," said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.
The 2012 Out on the Street summit agenda also includes Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent Innovation, who will be unveiling the early findings of the Center's new global LGBT research, "The Power of Out II." Co-sponsored by Out on the Street, and coauthored by its founder Todd Sears, the study will include deep dives on gender and international challenges.
Breakout sessions will explore a number of topics including the intersection of gender and sexual orientation, how LGBT support translates outside U.S. borders and emerging LGBT opportunities and challenges.
"The movement towards full LGBT equality in the U.S. is driven by corporate leaders such as the members of Out on the Street who are taking increasingly public stances of support," said James P. Gorman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley, a founding OOTS member.
Member companies of Out on the Street realize that despite the progress in corporate policies, significant challenges still remain for the LGBT community. In just one year, the number of member companies has grown from the founding six banks (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) to eleven organizations, 
with the addition of Credit Suisse, HSBC, KKR, KPMG LLP, and UBS.
"Instead of remaining in the safe zone of advocating for LGBT workplace equality which upwards of 70% of Americans support; these companies have taken courageous stances in more controversial areas, marriage equality, support for which only recently passed the 50% mark in polls," (1) Sears said.
1) Gallup Poll, May 20, 2011:
ABOUT OUT ON THE STREET: Out on the Street is the first LGBT leadership organization 
for Wall Street, by Wall Street. The summit focuses on bringing senior LGBT leaders together from major Wall Street firms to discuss vital issues, network and collectively set an forward looking agenda for the community on the Street.
2012 Out on the Street Members: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, KKR, KPMG LLP, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
Created and developed by Todd Sears, diversity leader and former banker, its mission is to engage both gay and straight senior leaders in discussions around making the Street a destination for top talent, as well as to enhance the careers of LGBT senior leaders by creating connections to increase opportunities for business. Out on the Street Leadership Summits bring together senior leaders--LGBT as well as straight allies--to discuss vital issues including cultural change, recruitment, client development and ways to maximize business impact.

ORGANIZATION                  CONTACT NAME           EMAIL                                  PHONE
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  —————————————— -------   
        Out on the Street             Jonathan Saw             917-273-6498
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ————————————— 
        Bank of America               John Yiannacopoulos    john.yiannacopoulos@bankofamerica   646-855-2314
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  —————————————— 
        Barclays                      Mark Lane              212 412 1413
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        Citi                          Anu Ahluwalia                 212-559-4114
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        Center for Talent Innovation  Karen Sumberg          212-315-2333
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ———————————————— -  ------------
        Credit Suisse                 Perrin Wheeler       212 325 8978
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        Deutsche Bank                 Sigalit Grego                   212-250-6952
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        Goldman Sachs                 Leslie Shribman                 212-902-5400
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ———————————————— 
        HSBC                          Rob Sherman             212-525-6901
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        KKR                           Kristi Huller                  212-230-9722
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  —————————————— -  ------------
        KPMG                          Laura Sheridan Powers                     212-872-7665
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ——————————————— -  ------------
        Morgan Stanley                Sandra Hernandez     212-761-2446
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ————————————— 
        UBS                           Karina Byrne                    212-882-5692
        ----------------------------  ---------------------  ————————————— 

SOURCE: Out on the Street and Bank of America
        Out on the Street 
        Jonathan Saw, 917-273-6498

Gay Friendly Companies:
These companies were on the list for both 2007 AND 2008:
Company Headquarters Website 
 American Express Co. New York, NY
 Ameriprise Financial Inc. Minneapolis, MN
 Bank of America Corp. Charlotte, NC
 Capital One Financial Corp. McLean, VA
 Charles Schwab Corp. Francisco, CA
 Citigroup Inc. New York, NY
 Credit Suisse New York, NY
 Deutsche Bank New York, NY
 Fannie Mae Washington, DC
 Goldman Sachs Group Inc. New York, NY
 J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. New York, NY
 Lehman Brothers Holdings New York, NY
 Mellon Financial Corp. Pittsburgh, PA
 Merrill Lynch & Co. New York, NY
 Morgan Stanley New York, NY
 State Street Corp. Boston, MA
 SunTrust Banks Inc. Atlanta, GA
 Visa Foster City, CA
 Wachovia Corp. Charlotte, NC
 Wells Fargo & Co. San Francisco, CA
 These companiesare new additions to the 2008 list:
 CompanyHeadquarters Website 
 Bear Stearns Companies Inc., The New York, NY
 Countrywide Financial Corp. Calabasas, CA
 HSBC North America Holdings Inc. Prospect Heights, IL
 IndyMac Bancorp Inc. Pasadena, CA
 KeyCorp Cleveland, OH
 KPMG LLP New York, NY
 MasterCard Inc. Purchase, NY
 Northern Trust Corp. Chicago, IL
 Principal Financial Group Des Moines, IA
 U.S. Bancorp Minneapolis, MN
 UBS AG Stamford, CT
 Washington Mutual Inc. Seattle, WA

Feel free to post comments about your experiences with Gay Friendly Companies. If you'd like to recommend a company for this section, let us know!

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The Food Delivery/Ride Companies Wont Allow Drivers to be Employees But California is Changing That

                               Hamilton Nolan Senior Writer. After a monumental...