Regulatory Agencies Propose Joint Standards Regarding Diversity
Six federal financial regulatory agencies are proposing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the institutions they regulate. The proposed standards are intended to promote transparency and awareness of diversity policies and practices within the institutions. The assessment standards cover four key areas: ►Organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion; ►Workforce profile and employment practices; ►Procurement and business practices and supplier diversity; and ►Practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion. In developing these proposed standards, the six agencies tailored the standards to account for variables including asset size, number of employees, governance structure, income, number of members or customers, contract volume, location, and community characteristics. The agencies recognize standards may need to change and evolve over time. Each of the federal financial regulatory agencies houses an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI). Under Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, each OMWI is required to develop standards for assessing diversity policies and practices in the regulated entities. The agencies’ OMWI directors held roundtable discussions with a range of parties, including representatives from depository institutions, holding companies, credit unions, and industry trade groups to solicit input on assessment standards and to learn about the challenges and successes of current diversity programs and policies. Roundtable discussions also were held with financial professionals, consumer advocates, and community representatives to gain a greater understanding of issues facing minorities and women in employment and in business contracting in the financial sector. Information obtained from those discussions helped shape the proposed standards. Once published in the Federal Register, the proposed policy statement will be available for public comment for 60 days. The agencies issuing the proposed Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.