We first discuss the multiple benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for financial institutions, the challenges and opportunities institutions face in implementing a DEI strategy, and how DEI applies beyond an institution’s workforce. We then consider the risk of discrimination claims arising from DEI programs and the role of legal counsel in the development and implementation of DEI strategies. … Continue Reading
CFPB publishes report on state of D&I within financial services industry
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (“OMWI”) has released guidance and recommendations for small, midsize, and large organizations to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion (“D&I”), taking size and resources into account. The guidance and recommendations are contained in a Report on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) within Financial Services (the “Report”), and are designed to both support the implementation of Section 342 of the Dodd Frank Act as outlined in the Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities (the “Standards”), and reflect the CFPB’s efforts to further the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equality and Support for Underserved Communities.… Continue Reading
NY Department of Financial Services announces initiative to collect and publish diversity data
To further its ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced an initiative to collect and publish diversity data on the demographic makeup of NY-regulated financial institution’s boards and senior management teams. In its July 29th business industry letter, DFS emphasized that transparency around this data will help measure progress toward DEI goals, allow firms to assess where they stand relative to their peers, and increase transparency and accountability.… Continue Reading
House Financial Services Committee to mark-up bills dealing with debt collection, diversity and inclusion
Tomorrow, April 20, the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to mark-up a series of bills that include a bill dealing with debt collection and two bills dealing with the diversity and inclusion practices of banks and other federally-regulated entities.
Debt collection. H.R. 2547, the “Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act,” includes the following provisions:
- Title I, the “Small Business Lending Fairness Act,” would amend the Truth in Lending Act to prohibit the use of a confession of judgment, warrant of attorney, “or other waiver of the right to notice and the opportunity to be heard in the event of suit or process thereon,” in both consumer and business purpose credit transactions, “including any advance of funds or sale or assignment of future income or receivables that may or may not be credit.”
This week’s podcast: diversity and inclusion: an update for financial institutions
In this week’s podcast, we review the four key focus areas of the 2015 diversity and inclusion standards adopted by the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion at the CFPB and other federal financial regulators, identify issues regulated entities should consider in addressing those areas and deciding whether to conduct D&I self-assessments, and discuss the evolving Congressional and regulatory D&I landscape since 2015, including recent letters sent to regulated entities regarding D&I efforts and self-assessments and D&I benefits for letter recipients to consider.… Continue Reading
CFPB sends letters inviting submission of diversity and inclusion self-assessments
We recently learned that several clients have received letters from the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) indicating that the Bureau will be inviting them to submit a self-assessment of their diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies and practices and requesting contact information for the individuals leading their D&I efforts.… Continue Reading
New Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee of House Financial Services Committee holds inaugural hearing
One of the first actions taken by Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters upon becoming Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee was to announce the creation of a new Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).
According to Politico, the new subcommittee held its inaugural hearing earlier this week at which the focus was a review of diversity trends in the finance industry, specifically a GAO report that found the representation of African-Americans and women in management roles had lagged in recent years. … Continue Reading
CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion issues annual report
The CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) has issued its annual report to Congress covering the OMWI’s activities in FY 2016. The Dodd-Frank Act required the CFPB and various other federal agencies, including the Fed, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and SEC, to establish an OMWI, and also requires each OMWI to submit an annual report to Congress.… Continue Reading
CFPB releases annual employee survey results, 2016-2020 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
The CFPB released two items at year-end: the results of its 2016 annual employee survey and its updated Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan) for 2016-2020.
Survey. Of the 1,567 CFPB employees surveyed, 1,372 (almost 87.6%) responded to the 2016 survey. We were pleased to see that the survey results appear to show that the CFPB has made progress in improving its work environment. … Continue Reading
Ballard Spahr partner Dee Spagnuolo joins CFPB OMWI Director on panel at ABA meeting
Members of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services group recently participated in the American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 8, Ballard partner, Dee Spagnuolo, joined Director Stuart Ishimaru of the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, and other industry leaders for a panel discussion entitled, “Diversity and Dodd-Frank Section 342.”… Continue Reading