MORGAN STANLEY GROUP INC. | Report on Risks of Politicized De-Banking at MORGAN STANLEY GROUP INC.

1.58% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders request the Board of Directors of Morgan Stanley conduct an evaluation and issue a
report within the next year, at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary information and disclosure of anything
that would constitute an admission of pending litigation, evaluating how it oversees risks related to discrimination
against individuals based on their race, color, religion (including religious views), sex, national origin, or political
views, and whether such discrimination may impact individuals’ exercise of their constitutionally protected civil
Supporting statement
Supporting Statement:
Financial institutions are essential pillars of the marketplace. On account of their unique and pivotal role in
America’s economy, many federal and state laws already prohibit them from discriminating against customers. And
the UN Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that ‘‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience,
and religion.’’1
These are an important part of protecting every American’s right to free speech and free exercise of
As shareholders of Morgan Stanley, we believe it is essential for the company to provide financial services on an
equal basis without regard to factors such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or social, political, or
religious views.
We are concerned with recent evidence of religious and political discrimination against customers by companies in
the financial services industry, as seen in recent examples2
and the 2022 Statement on Debanking and Free
The 2023 edition of the Viewpoint Diversity Business Index4
shows that many of the largest financial institutions
include vague and subjective grounds to deny service like ‘‘reputational risk,’’ ‘‘social risk,’’ ‘‘misinformation,’’ ‘‘hate
speech’’ or ‘‘intolerance.’’ These kinds of terms allow financial institutions to deny or restrict service for arbitrary or
discriminatory reasons. They also give fringe activists and governments a foothold to demand that private financial
institutions deny service under the sweeping, unfettered discretion that such policies provide. When companies engage in this kind of discrimination, they hinder the ability of Americans to access the
marketplace and instead become de facto regulators and censors. This undermines the fundamental freedoms of
our country and is an affront to the public trust. Politicized debanking can also damage the company’s reputation
and ability to operate in favorable regulatory environments.
In early 2023, shareholders called for Chase, Mastercard, PayPal, Capital One, and Charles Schwab to assess
whether they have adequate safeguards to prevent politicized de-banking.5 Nineteen state attorneys general and
fourteen state financial officers specifically called out Chase for their de-banking of a non-profit committed to
advancing religious freedom and demanded action from the company to show good faith in addressing these
widespread concerns.

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