Bloomberg News

Diversity Hiring Standards for Banks to Be Set by U.S. Agencies

April 03, 2013

U.S. regulators including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will seek public input on proposed standards to evaluate workforce diversity at banks and other financial companies.

The agencies plan to develop a uniform standard to assess companies’ efforts to hire women and minorities while “taking into consideration differences such as entity size, capability, and history,” according to a report by the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion released this week.

The Dodd-Frank law that created the CFPB mandates the creation of an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion in each regulator. It directs the offices to develop standards for encouraging diversity, promoting women- and minority-owned contractors and assessing regulated institutions on diversity.

Other goals include coordinating between agencies, avoiding “undue burden” on regulated companies, and using data that is already readily available, according to the report. The work involves the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the report.

The proposed standards come out of a series of “listening sessions” during 2012 with regulated companies, including small and large banks, and with advocacy and professional associations. The draft standards will be issued later this year and be followed by a public comment period, the report said.

“I firmly believe that in order to be a great organization, we must reflect the fabric of America. Indeed, the best way to serve our consumers is to ensure that our workforce reflects the faces, ideas, backgrounds and experiences of the American public,” Richard Cordray, the agency’s director, wrote in a letter accompanying the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carter Dougherty in Washington at cdougherty6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net


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