By Benjamin Goad - 10/24/13 05:46 PM EDT
Half a dozen U.S. financial regulators proposed new standards Thursday that would create a system to monitor diversity practices at banks and other entities under their supervision.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law directed each of the agencies to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, and charged the directors of the offices to develop standards for assessing diversity policies.
The standards could include various factors, including an organization’s commitment to diversity, the profile of its workforce, outreach to minority and women’s groups and the diversity of its suppliers.
“The standards will provide the public a greater ability to assess diversity policies and practices of regulated entities,” the agencies said in a noticeto appear in Friday’s Federal Register. "The Agencies recognize that greater diversity and inclusion promotes stronger, more effective, and more innovative businesses, as well as opportunities to serve a wider range of customers.”
The agencies make clear, however, that banks or other regulated agencies would not be required to take any action based on the results of the assessments.
The interagency policy statement cites Dodd-Frank language spelling out that nothing in the statute, “may be construed to mandate any requirement on or otherwise affect the lending policies and practices of any regulated entity, or to require any specific action based on the findings of the assessment.”
The agencies involved are the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Beginning Friday, interested parties and members of the public will have 60 days to weigh in on the plan.