OCC BULLETIN 2013-32
Subject: Joint Diversity Standards
Date: November 7, 2013
To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations, Federal Branches and Agencies, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties
Description: Proposed Interagency Policy Statement
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (collectively, the agencies) have issued and are requesting comment on the Proposed Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies. The proposed standards are intended to promote transparency and awareness of the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities and to provide guidance to the regulated entities and the public for assessing these diversity policies and practices. The proposed standards are not mandates, nor do they require any action based on the findings of an assessment. The agencies will not use the examination or supervision process in connection with these proposed standards. Comments on the proposed standards are due on or before December 24, 2013.
- The proposed standards are issued pursuant to section 342(b)(2)(C) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), which directs each agency’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by that agency. The agencies have chosen to act together and have jointly issued these proposed standards.
- These proposed standards take into account Dodd-Frank Act section 342(b)(4), which states that “[n]othing in paragraph (2)(C) may be construed to mandate any requirement on or otherwise affect the lending policies and practices of any regulated entity, or to require any specific action based on the findings of the assessment.”
- The proposed standards allow for different types of assessments, including self-assessments. Such assessments would not involve a traditional examination or other supervisory activity conducted by the agencies.
- The proposed standards focus on four key areas:
- Organizational Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion;
- Workforce Profile and Employment Practices;
- Procurement and Business Practices – Supplier Diversity; and
- Practices to Promote Transparency of Organizational Diversity and Inclusion.
- The proposed standards take into consideration an entity’s size and other characteristics, for example, total assets, number of employees, geographic location, and community characteristics.
- Entities that are subject to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) reporting requirements currently submit requested data and supporting documentation that can also be used, in conjunction with the proposed standards, as analytical tools to evaluate diversity and inclusion programs. Entities that are not subject to EEOC or OFCCP reporting requirements may use the proposed standards as a model to develop and monitor their diversity efforts.
Note for Community Banks
The proposed standards, which would apply to community banks, are intended to help banks self-assess their diversity policies and practices. Consistent with the highlights above, the OCC will not assess banks’ compliance through our examination or other supervisory activities.
Please contact Joyce Cofield, Executive Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, (202) 649-6460; Betty Washington, Program Manager-Regulated Entities, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, (713) 336-4323; or Karen McSweeney, Senior Counsel, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 649-6295.
Joyce B. Cofield
Executive Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion