Morgan Stanley will not spend its corporate treasury funds directly on elections, nor put them toward independent political expenditures, the New York City Public Advocate said Monday.
The Wall Street bank joined rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase and Co in adopting the policy, just weeks ahead of U.S. midterm elections, said the public advocate, a watchdog that helps oversee the $30 billion New York City Employee Retirement System.
"Their actions ... send a clear message that responsible companies should keep their treasury dollars out of our elections," Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who formerly helped run Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, said in a statement.
Early this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow corporations, unions and other groups to spend unlimited funds on political campaigns. The ruling was expected to unleash a flood of money from the traditionally pro-Republican business community to campaigns.
Americans head to the polls on Nov. 2 for congressional elections.
Corporate treasury funds are cash or liquid assets that are managed for seasonal and other expenses.
© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.