A few weeks ago we shared information about the mutual fund companies Fidelity and Vanguard, whom are active investors in Smith & Wesson (SWHC: NYSE); encouraging investors to leverage their power by asking investment funds to divest from gun manufacturers.
In the time since we wrote our email, it’s come to our attention Letitia James, The Public Advocate for the City of New York requesting TD Bank cease transacting business with Smith & Wesson or risk future city contracts. It should be noted that TD Bank, N.A (The U.S chartered banking arm of TD Bank Group) and TD Securities (The Investment Banking arm of TD Bank Group) provides debt financing to Smith & Wesson; in 2015, $280MM dollars in financing was facilitated by both entities.
“Guns are ripping our country apart, one shooting at a time. As we stare at the financial smoking gun that enables gun violence, inaction is not an option. If you want to do business with New York City, You can’t be in bed with companies that manufacture the agents that kill our children and families” – Public Advocate Letitia James.
We applaud the efforts of The Public Advocate for The City of New York in using her public position to effect change when few other elected officials are willing to do so. Public Advocate James has been a leader in the fight to end the financing of gun violence. As trustee of the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS), she called on all five of the New York City’s pension boards to divest from gun retailers on July 1, 2015. On July 28th, the largest pension board, NYCERS, overwhelmingly passed Public Advocate James’ resolution to begin the divestment process.
Please click on the link to view the full letter: Public Advocate James Letter to TD Bank
What Can You Do?
TD Bank Group’s relationship with Smith & Wesson is by no means illegal, but one should question the moral compass of a financial institution who continues to maintain such relationships with firearm manufacturers given what is occurring at present in our country. New York City is one of TD Bank’s largest markets; we believe the majority of New Yorkers would disapprove of any financial institution financing the activities of firearm manufacturers while maintaining active contracts with The City of New York. We recommend voicing displeasure of TD Bank Group’s relationship and supporting Public Advocate James request for TD Bank Group to cease financing the activities of Smith & Wesson and/or any firearm manufacturer.
We are of the view critical mass and public microphone can make all of the difference; contacting your local TD Bank Manager along with Public Advocate James’s office to go on record voicing displeasure will go a long way towards making your voice heard! We encourage you to email her office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Public Advocate’s Constituent Helpdesk at 212-669-7250.
Andrew J. Friedman; Founder & President
AJF Financial Services, Inc.
*Securities offered through American Portfolio Financial Services. MemberFINRA and SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through AJF Financial which is not affiliated with APFS. AJF Financial Services, Inc. Is a SEC registered investment advisor.
*Opinions expressed are those of The Writer and AJF Financial Services, Inc., not necessarily those of American Portfolio Financial Services.
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