WASHINGTON (12/20/13)--Feb. 7 is the new deadline for credit unions and others to make their voices heard and comment on a proposed joint agency policy statement for assessing diversity policies and practices of financial institutions.
The National Credit Union Administration, Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission developed the standards.
The proposed standards 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;
- Number of members or customers;
- Contract volume;
- Location; and
- Community characteristics.
- Financial professionals, consumer advocates, and community representatives were consulted as the standards were developed.
The agencies have specifically asked for comments on how the standards might better take into account individual entities' circumstances, especially for small regulated entities. Originally the comment period was slated to end in December.