NEW YORK - The outspoken consumer activist Martin Eakes is expected to introduce an anti-predatory-lending resolution at Citigroup Inc.'s annual stockholders meeting today.
Mr. Eakes, the founder and chief executive officer of Self Help, Durham, N.C., was to offer the Corporate Social Responsibility Resolution on behalf of Citigroup shareholder Steve Berger. Mr. Berger is a member of Responsible Wealth, a national organization that promotes greater accountability for top executives; the resolution would link CEO compensation to corporate social responsibility.
"Citigroup's slogans are 'Lead by Example' and 'Live Richly,' " Mr. Eakes said in remarks prepared for the meeting. "But if Citigroup's actions are any barometer, their concept of leading by example falls short."
He charges that Citigroup has "steadfastly refused" to adopt responsible lending standards and is "aggressively opposing" legislative efforts to rein in predatory lending.
Self Help officials said the resolution is intended in part to protest Citigroup's "involvement in predatory lending" through its recent acquisition of Associates First Capital.
Said Mr. Eakes: "If the company refuses to act within reasonable limits, then the shareholders have a responsibility to hold the CEO responsible. Tying CEO compensation to ethical practices sends a message that shareholders want the company to be profitable while, in the best sense of the phrase, leading by example."