Federal banking agencies are offering guidance on how the financial institutions they regulate may begin to submit self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices as of year-end 2015. The agencies also provided a list of frequently asked questions about the process, according to a news release.
Financial institutions are strongly encouraged to disclose on their websites their diversity policies and practices, as well as information related to their self-assessments, to maximize transparency, according to the release. They also are asked to provide their policies, practices and self-assessment information to their primary federal financial regulator. Institutions will receive additional information and detailed submission instructions at a later date, the release stated.
Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the federal financial regulatory agencies to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, and instructed the OMWI director at each agency to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of its regulated institutions, according to the release.
On June 10, 2015, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Securities and Exchange Commission issued a final interagency policy statement establishing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.
The standards reflect input received during a public comment period and information gathered during outreach sessions. The standards provide a framework for regulated institutions to assess and strengthen their diversity policies and practices, and are intended to promote transparency and awareness of these policies and practices within the institutions, according to the release.
The agencies announced July 13 that the Office of Management and Budget had approved the collection of the voluntary self-assessment information. The agencies will use the information to monitor diversity and inclusion trends and identify leading policies and practices in the financial services industry, according to the release.
A list of frequently asked questions and answers can be found at http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/bcreg20160802b1.pdf and also is available on the websites of the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC. More information is available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20160802b.htm.