Today, in joint release the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agencies issued a final interagency policy statement establishing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.
According to the release, Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) required these agencies to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at each agency to be responsible for all matters relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also required that each OMWI director to come up with standards for addressing the diversity policies and practices of the agencies' regulated entities.
“The final standards, which are generally similar to the proposed standards, provide a framework for regulated entities to create and strengthen their diversity policies and practices—including their organizational commitment to diversity, workforce and employment practices, procurement and business practices, and practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion within the entities' U.S. operations,” the agencies said.
The newly proposed standards say that both employment and contracting entities should consider diversity in recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion. Candidates, board members, senior management, and other senior leaders should be diverse and include women and minorities. The entities will also be required to provide regular progress reports to their boards and senior management and offer training and education on equal employment opportunities, diversity, and inclusion efforts.
In order to develop the standards, the agencies held extensive discussions with depository institutions, holding companies, and industry trade groups, where the agencies gathered their views on appropriate standards and information about the successes and challenges of existing diversity policies.
The agencies also reached out to financial professionals, consumer advocates, and community representatives to better understand the problems that minorities and women encounter in obtaining employment and business opportunities within the financial services industry, according to the release.
The statement represents over 200 comments that were submitted for the proposed standards that were originally issued in 2013, the agencies noted. The final interagency policy statement is effective on publication in the Federal Register.
The agencies also requested for public comments in the release regarding the information collection aspects of the final joint standards as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. They are asking that the comments be made within 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. The effective date of the collection of information will be announced in the Federal Register following Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval.
Click here to view the Final Interagency Policy Statement Joint Release.