Financial regulators issue joint diversity standards

The Obama administration’s financial agencies issued joint standards Tuesday to assess the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.

A requirement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB); and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) joint standards are designed to provide a framework for an entity to create and strengthen its diversity policies and practices, including its organizational commitment to diversity, workforce and employment practices, procurement and business practices, and practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion.

The standards say entities, both in employment and contracting, should consider diversity in recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion; provide regular progress reports to their boards and senior management; and offer training and education on equal employment opportunities, diversity and inclusion efforts.

Entities, the standards say, should also take proactive steps to promote a diverse pool of candidates, including women and minorities, in its hiring, recruiting, retention, and promotion, as well as in its selection of board members, senior management and other senior leaders.

CFPB said the agencies consulted financial professionals, consumer advocates and community representatives to gain a greater understanding of the issues confronting minorities and women in obtaining employment and business opportunities within the financial services industry.