Financial Services Roundtable
The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) is a U.S. trade association that lobbies on behalf of 100 of the top banks, credit card companies, insurance and securities services firms operating in the United States. Its membership includes many bailed-out banks including: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and PNC.
- Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
- Capital One
- Charles Schwab
- Fidelity Investments
- General Electric
- State Farm
Financial Services Roundtable gave $386,857 to federal candidates in the 2010 election as of October 2010 through its political action committee - 46% to Democrats and 54% to Republicans. In 2008 it gave $341,323 - 46% to Democrats and 54% to Republicans. 
Embarrassed by opulence of meeting
The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) was embarrassed by the opulence of the location of its March 2009 Spring Meeting in Naples, Florida, after Anna Burger of Change to Win sent a letter of complaint. The group then moved its meeting to a secret location in Washington, DC. Invitees included Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., FDIC chair Sheila Bair, and SEC chair Mary Schapiro. Anna Burger also called on the group to immediately stop all lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act which involves the rights of workers to unionize and "to revoke the membership of any bailout recipient that is engaged in similar partisan political activity."
In 2010 Bloomberg reported that the Financial Services Roundtable was "starting an image-improvement campaign aimed at showing the financial industry as trustworthy and a positive force after more than a year of being chastised in Washington." The public relations campaign is being led by three firms: public relations specialists APCO Worldwide, pollster Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research and DDB, an advertising agency owned by New York-based Omnicom Group Inc.
PR Case study
PR firm Qorvis Communications did work for the group and has this case study on their website:
- The Financial Services Roundtable, one of the most important and prestigious trade associations in Washington, D.C., wanted a way to demonstrate to U.S. senators and representatives that Roundtable members were important, both economically and politically, to their states and congressional districts. The Roundtable had to provide them with specific but usable information that clearly demonstrated the positive effects of its members on any given local economy.
- Qorvis began the project by designing an extensive internal communications campaign to explain the project to Roundtable members. Qorvis then designed an extensive database, collected information from member companies, sorted all of the facilities and employees by state and congressional district, put the information in a specially created template and then analyzed the information for each of the 535 districts and 50 states. The resulting 750 page document was embraced by the Roundtable’s members and staff. In fact, the document has become a routine part of the association’s daily efforts on Capitol Hill.
- Steve Bartlett, CEO
- Richard M. Whiting, Executive Director and General Counsel
- John H. Dalton, President, Housing Policy Council
- Scott E. Talbott, Senior vice president of government affairs
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Suite 500 South
Washington, D.C. 20004
Email: info AT fsround.org
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Member Companies, Financial Services Roundtable, accessed October 2010.
- 2010 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed October 2010.
- Financial Services Roundtable lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed October 2010.
- "Financial Services Roundtable Responds to Change To Win Demand, Moves Spring Meeting", Change to Win, February 12, 2009.
- Julianna Goldman and Robert Schmidt, "Big Banks Begin Effort to Improve Image, 'Set Record Straight'", Bloomberg, March 24, 2010.
- PR Case study, Qorvis Communications, accessed October 2010.
- Staff, Financial Services Roundtable, accessed October 2010.
- Board, Financial Services Roundtable, accessed October 2010.
- "Chamber Executives Appointed to Financial Services Roundtable Commission on Enhancing Competitiveness", U.S. Chamber of Commerce, May 23, 2007.
- Elizabeth Williamson, "Banks Rush to Shape Rescue Plan", Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2008.