VISA INC. | Lobbying Expenditures Disclosure at VISA INC.

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved, the stockholders of Visa request the preparation of a report, updated annually, disclosing:
Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.Payments by Visa used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.Description of management’s decision-making process and the Board’s oversight for making payments described above.For purposes of this proposal, a “grassroots lobbying communication” is a communication directed to the general public that (a) refers to specific legislation or regulation, (b) reflects a view on the legislation or regulation and (c) encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation or regulation. “Indirect lobbying” is lobbying engaged in by a trade association or other organization of which Visa is a member.
Both “direct and indirect lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying communications” include efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
The report shall be presented to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and posted on Visa’s website. 
Whereas clause
Whereas, we believe in full disclosure of Visa’s lobbying activities and expenditures to assess whether Visa’s lobbying is consistent with Visa’s expressed goals and stockholder interests.
Supporting statement
Visa spent $54.58 million from 2010 – 2021 on federal lobbying. This does not include state lobbying expenditures, where Visa lobbied in at least 22 states in 2021 and spent over $1.5 million on lobbying in California from 2010 – 2021. Visa also lobbies abroad, spending between €900,000 – 999,999 on lobbying in Europe for 2021. Visa’s lobbying over swipe fees and comments that Visa was a “beneficiary of inflation” as higher costs lead to larger fees have attracted media scrutiny.[1]
Companies can give unlimited amounts to third party groups that spend millions on lobbying and often undisclosed grassroots activity, and these groups may be spending “at least double what’s publicly reported.”[2] Visa fails to disclose its third-party payments to trade associations and social welfare organizations, or the amounts used for lobbying, to stockholders. Visa belongs to the American Bankers Association (ABA), Business Roundtable, and US Chamber Commerce, which together spent $105,813,000 on lobbying for 2021, and funds controversial nonprofits like the State Financial Officers Foundation, which has drawn scrutiny for attacking woke capitalism.[3] And while Visa previously dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council,[4] ABA supported its 2022 annual meeting[5] and the Chamber sits on its Private Enterprise Advisory Council.
We are concerned that Visa’s lack of disclosure presents reputational risk when its lobbying contradicts company public positions. Visa supported the Paris climate agreement, yet the Chamber opposed it. Visa is committed to diversity and inclusion, yet the Chamber lobbied against protecting voting rights.[6] We believe reputational damage stemming from these misalignments could harm stockholder value. Thus, we urge Visa to expand its lobbying disclosure.

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