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Monday, February 10, 2014

ABA, Groups Welcome Diversity Approach, Suggest Refinements

ABA and several trade groups said that they agreed with the financial regulators’ use of voluntary self-assessments in the interagency diversity standards proposed in October, although they offered some cautions on vendor diversity standards and confidentiality of reports.

Noting that some commentators had called for incorporating diversity assessments into examinations or mandatory disclosure, the groups praised the agencies for their “flexible self-assessment” approach, which they said “is likely to be more effective than examination or other supervisory assessment in assessing diversity.”

In a separate letter, ABA, the Independent Community Bankers of America and state bankers associations strongly urged the agencies not to include procurement and vendor diversity in the standards.

Last fall, under the aegis of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC, CFPB, OCC, Federal Reserve, SEC and NCUA proposed to assess firms’ commitment to diversity, the makeup of their workforces, vendor practices and transparency about diversity. The standards were developed jointly by the regulators’ Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion.

Read the groups' letter.
Read the state associations' letter.

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