Congresswomen Waters and Beatty Release HFSC Report On Diversity At America’s Large Banks

Feb 17, 2020Banks & Credit Unions, Congressional Legislation, News

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who chairs the Committee’s Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, released a staff report earlier this month entitled “Diversity and Inclusion: Holding America’s Large Banks Accountable.” According to a press release announcing the release, the report is part of the Committee’s efforts to ensure that banks are held accountable and are meeting their responsibilities with inclusion and diversity.

“This landmark report marks the first of several deep dives the Committee will take into the diversity practices of financial services industries,” Waters said. “I hope that banks and others will pay heed to these recommendations and work to ensure their institutions are as inclusive and diverse as the customers and communities they serve.”

Among the topics covered in the report were workforce diversity, board diversity, supplier diversity, pay equity, investing with diverse asset managers, diversity and inclusion practices and policies, disclosing diversity data to financial regulators and the public, challenges in implementing diversity and inclusion goals and initiatives, and recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion at America’s largest banks.

In order to inform the committee’s findings, Waters and Beatty sent requests to the country’s 44 largest financial institutions for their diversity and inclusion policies and data. Some of the findings include a lack of diversity in banks’ boards of directors and senior employees. They also found that many banks have limited spending and investments with diverse firms.

Additionally, the most frequent challenges reported were the competition for diverse talent, the absence of dependable definitions of inclusion and diversity, and data collection and self-identification.

Committee staff recommended that Congress require banks to publicly share diversity and inclusion data and the diversity of their boards, as well as track their efforts to increase spending with diverse firms. These changes would be to “ensure full compliance with the original intent of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act and to increase transparency into banks’ diversity and inclusion results.”  

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