The Charles Schwab Corporation has not and does not contribute to lawmakers, political candidates or political parties. The Charles Schwab Corporation Political Action Committee (PAC), which is funded by voluntary contributions from employees and directors of Schwab, is the sole means by which any financial support has historically been offered to lawmakers.
Today, the Charles Schwab Corporation announced that we are discontinuing our PAC and will no longer accept contributions from employees or make financial contributions to lawmakers. In light of a divided political climate and an increase in attacks on those participating in the political process, we believe a clear and apolitical position is in the best interest of our clients, employees, stockholders and the communities in which we operate.
Schwab will donate all remaining funds in the PAC to worthwhile recipients that have received regular support from the firm in the past: The Boys & Girls Club of America and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
As a champion for the “Main Street” investor, we have long believed in advocating for an appropriate regulatory landscape for individual investors and those who serve them. But in today’s hyper-partisan environment, it is becoming more difficult to stay true to our long-standing commitment to bipartisanship while fulfilling our role of advocate and educator. And navigating this complex environment runs the risk of distracting us from what we do best – serving our clients. Serving clients has always been the most productive way for us to advance the interests of the investing public and contribute to the long-term success of the nation.
These changes do not mean we will be silent. Schwab is one of the strongest, most trusted firms in financial services. We are a major employer in a dozen metropolitan centers around the country, and a part of the local community in each of the cities in which our more than 400 branches are located. While we will not contribute financially through our PAC, we are confident our voice will still be heard in Washington. We can still have a meaningful and positive influence on sound public policy, and we will continue our efforts to educate policymakers on the needs and challenges of Main Street investors.
It is unfortunate that our efforts to advocate for investors are now being purposefully misrepresented by voices on both sides of the aisle as something they are not. It is a sad byproduct of the current political climate that some now resort to using questionable tactics and misleading claims to attack companies like ours. We also believe it is unfair to knowingly blur the lines between the actions of a publicly held corporation and those of individuals who work or have worked for the company. Every individual in our firm has a right to their own, individual political beliefs and we respect that right. Their beliefs or contributions do not represent the position of the firm as a whole. We will vigorously defend ourselves against these kinds of misleading attacks, through legal or other avenues as appropriate.
For the reasons stated previously, we will begin to shut down our PAC today. But it is important to note we believe in the appropriateness of our previous approach, which included a unique and long-standing policy of dividing our support equally between Republicans and Democrats and not contributing to Presidential candidates. We encourage anyone wishing to know about the firm’s previous contributions to check the facts, which are part of the public record and available on the Federal Election Commission’s website.