Financial Services Roundtable

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The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) is an American financial services lobbying and advocacy organization, located in Washington, D.C.. FSR was formerly called the Bankers Roundtable, but was renamed in 2000 to reflect the widening membership of the organization beyond bank holding companies. FSR "represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies which provide banking, insurance and investment products and services to American consumers."[1] The members of FSR are the CEOs of the 100 largest financial services companies with additional C-Suite level executive representatives from each company. The current President and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable is Tim Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota.[2]


In 1993, the Bankers Roundtable was formed because the 81-year-old Association of Reserve City Bankers and the 35-year-old Association of Registered Bank Holding Companies merged. In 2000, after a decision by the Board of Directors the previous year to "broaden the mission to represent integrated financial service providers...the Roundtable's impact as a major player on Capitol Hill and with the regulators",[3] the name was changed to The Financial Services Roundtable.[4]


Since that time, the Roundtable has expanded. BITS, created in 1996 under the former Bankers Roundtable, allowed collaboration on technological issues faced by the financial services industry. Since the Roundtable's creation in 2000, this organization addresses "emerging threats and opportunities" especially threats to cybersecurity, fraud reduction and critical infrastructure protection.[5] Another part of the Roundtable, the Bankruptcy Coalition, lobbied for changes to the bankruptcy code in 2005.[6] There are numerous other parts of the Roundtable.[7] One part, Agents for Change was described as helping move forward the "modernization" of insurance regulation. Another part tries to officially improve working communities of the financial services industry and creating partnerships with non-profits and politicians. The Housing Policy Council and 34 member companies, another part of the Roundtable are engaged in an "effort to prevent foreclosures and preserve homeownership." In addition to these sections of the Roundtable, there are three initiatives pushed: InFact (provide Americans with "information...important to the financial services industry), ITAC (non-profit that fights identity theft) and (providing consumers with "financial education").

Official mission, policy issues and connections[edit]

Official mission[edit]

Financial Services Roundtable is an advocacy organization for America’s financial services industry. FSR members include leading banking, insurance, asset management, finance and credit card companies in America.

Policy issues, positions[edit]

According to their official website, the group focuses on financial services legislation, the regulatory issues and reduction of the federal deficit. More specifically, all of these issues "will be considered through the lens of uniform national standards and other core Roundtable principles."[8] Such issues include:

  • Dodd-Frank Improvement Acts
  • Debit card
  • Cybersecurity
  • Fiduciary duty/retirement security
  • Financial literacy
  • GSE reform
  • Insurance reform
  • Corporate tax reform
  • Dodd-Frank Act implementation
  • Accounting standards/FASB
  • Capital and liquidity standards
  • "Reduction of Federal deficits over time" (a priority for the Roundtable)


FSR has approximately a hundred members and membership is by invitation only.

Member companies include:[9]

Assets, lobbying and contributions[edit]


The assets of the Roundtable were estimated to be between $10 and $49 million as of 2006.[10] Of those assets, 42% was non-interest-bearing cash, 25% was savings and temporary cash investments, 11% was land, buildings, and equipment, 15% was other assets and 7% was investments in publicly traded securities. Most of the revenue (65%) coming into the Roundtable was from membership dues of participating organizations.


Lobbying has always been a focus of the Roundtable. From 1998 to 2000, less than a million dollars was spent on lobbying.[11][12][13] But, by 2001 after the creation of the Roundtable, more than $1.1 million was spent.[14] For the next five years, the amount of money spent on lobbying increased. In 2006, less than $6.2 million was spent on lobbying.[15] The next two years, more money was spent on lobbying than in 2006: $6,380,000 was spent in 2007,[16] and $7,760,000 was spent in 2008.[17] The next year, the Roundtable spent about $6.9 million on lobbying in Washington, DC with more than $900,000 going to outside lobbying firms.[18] The Center of Responsive Politics showed a continuation of this trend. From 2008 to 2011, an average of about $7.5 million was spent on lobbying each year.[19]

A good number of lobbyists representing the Roundtable have been involved in the revolving door between industry and government. Nine of them are part of the revolving door and one is a former congressman.[20]

Political contributions[edit]

Even before its founding, the money contributed toward federal candidates has been spent. The Center for Responsive Politics notes[21] that in the election cycles of 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998, less than $90,000 was spent each year, with the highest amount in 1992 with about $85,200 spent. However, in the 2000s, the amount spent went up exponentially. An upward tick in the amount spent reached a high of $615,808 in the 2010 election cycle. Even with this increase, the money spent in the 2012 election cycle dropped almost by half.

The money spent from the 1990s to the present has not been given to just one party, but to both major parties in Washington, Democrats and Republicans. In the three election cycles from 1990 to 1994, Democrats were given more money than Republicans. In the late 1990s, that changed with more money being given to Republicans than Democrats (1996 and 1998 election cycles). This only increased in the 2000s, with more contributions being given than ever before, with a height of more than $266,200 given to Republican Party candidates in the 2008 election cycle. Still, Democrats were the runner-up, and were given the highest amount of money in the same election cycle: more than $214,400. In the 2012 election cycle, $46,000 went to House Democrats, $122,000 to House Republicans and $36,500 to Senate Democrats and $38,000 to Senate Republicans.[22] Such recipients include Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, Congressional Progressive Caucus member Xavier Becerra, senior Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl and many others.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial Services Roundtable Definition". Investopedia. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  2. ^ Puzzanghera, Jim (Sep 20, 2012). "Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to head bank lobbying group". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ "Financial Services Roundtable - History of the Roundtable". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ "The Financial Services Roundtable". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  5. ^ BITS. "About Us". BITS. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  6. ^ "Bankruptcy Coalition". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  7. ^ "FSR - Roundtable Websites". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  8. ^ "FSR - Policy Issues". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, District of Columbia (DC)". 1975-06-30. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 1998". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 1999". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  13. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 2000". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  14. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 2001". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  15. ^ "Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, District of Columbia (DC)". 1975-06-30. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  16. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 2007". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  17. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 2008". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  18. ^ "Client Profile: Summary, 2009". Open Secrets. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database - Financial Services Roundtable, 2012". OpenSecrets. 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  20. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database-Financial Services Roundtable, 2012". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  21. ^ "Financial Services Roundtable Summary". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  22. ^ a b "Financial Services Roundtable Contributions to Federal Candidates". OpenSecrets. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 

Other sources[edit]