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Federal Regulators Propose Diversity Policies for FIs

Mon, Nov 4, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

Diversity standard guidelines, and guidance on how credit unions and others can assess their own diversity policies, are addressed in a proposal released Wednesday by the National Credit Union Administration and five other federal financial regulators.

The standards, if approved, would encourage regulated entities to include diversity and inclusion considerations in both employment and contracting as an important part of their strategic plan. The standards, required by the Dodd-Frank Act, would also encourage those entities that collect workforce data to use that data to evaluate and assess workforce diversity and inclusion efforts.

Regulated entities would also need to demonstrate supplier diversity policies that provide "for a fair opportunity for minority-owned and women-owned businesses to compete in procurements of business goods and services."

An institution's commitment to these standards will also need to be demonstrated in a transparent fashion, the standards said. The proposed standards are tailored to account for an institution's:

  • Asset size;
  • Number of employees;
  • Governance structure;
  • Income;
  • Number of members or customers;
  • Contract volume;
  • Location; and
  • Community characteristics.

The agencies in their joint release said they "recognize standards may need to change and evolve over time." The proposed standards were developed following joint agency roundtable discussions with credit unions, representatives from other depository institutions, holding companies and industry trade groups.

Financial professionals, consumer advocates, and community representatives were also consulted during the process. The agencies said they seek comments specifically on how they might better take into account individual entities' circumstances, especially for small regulated entities.

The proposal will be open for public comment for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

The Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission joined the NCUA in releasing the standards.

Source: CUNA News Now