In a letter to the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWIs) for agencies governing the nation’s financial institutions, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said a proposed policy statement does not go far enough to promote diversity policies and practices, nor foster greater transparency in the nation’s financial institutions.
“While we look forward to championing the good work the Agencies may do in the future, we believe the Standards, as currently drafted, are wholly insufficient to execute the intent and the spirit of Section 342. While a good start, the Agencies’ Standards clearly do not recognize the importance of the role the Agencies must play, and do not afford them the requisite authority to achieve diversity in the financial services industry.”
Specifically, the National Urban League is urging the following steps to strengthen the proposed policy statement to better align them with the goals and objectives of Section 342:
- The Agencies should require compliance with uniform minimum diversity standards to assess whether the regulated entities are achieving diversity, regardless of the entities’ size.
- The Agencies should regularly assess the diversity policies and practices of the regulated entities, utilize traditional examinations, and monitor the regulated entities’ diversity policies and practices on an annual basis.
- The Agencies should exercise the full strength of their authority to enforce the Standards – up to and including bringing relevant civil claims, terminating contracts and/or prohibiting future contracts with firms found to be in violation of the Standards.
- The proposed policy statement will have a direct impact on the diversity policies and practices at the nation’s financial services institutions where minorities and women are woefully underrepresented, especially in senior management, and will allow more minority- and women-owned firms the opportunity to contract with these institutions.»