Updated at 4:17 p.m.
Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre on Wednesday became the second law firm this summer to disclose to Congress that it is lobbying for a Fort Worth, Texas-based company that runs pawn shops and offers cash advances, among other financial services.
The lobbyist roster for Cash America International Inc. now has six firms, including Andrews & Andrews, which filed lobbying registration paperwork in June, according to congressional records. The company spent $460,000 on its federal government advocacy efforts during the first half of this year.
Cash America's lobbyists are advocating for the company on legislation that would establish a federal charter for nonbanks that serve individuals who have bank accounts but depend on alternative financial services, or who don't have bank accounts at all. Under bills introduced by Representatives Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Blaine` Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would regulate the financial services institutions, allowing Cash America to operate under a uniform set of federal regulations instead of the varying state rules.
The Jones Walker lobbyists who are handling the account – government relations director Larry Lavender and special projects director Nancy Peele – couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Yolanda Walker, a Cash America spokeswoman, declined to elaborate on Jones Walker's lobbying work. But she said Cash America is willing to work with the CFPB and backs the federal charter legislation. Mary Jackson, Cash America's senior vice president for corporate affairs, last month testified before a House Financial Services subcommittee in support of the federal charter legislation, Walker noted.
Founded in 1984, Cash America has more than 1,000 locations in the United States and Mexico, according to the company. Cash America also gives consumer loans through the Internet to individuals in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and almost three dozen U.S. states. The company operates under several names, including Cash America Pawn, Cash America Payday Advance, Cashland, Mr. Payroll, Pawn X-Change and SuperPawn.