Financial regulators issue proposed standards for assessing diversity policies and practices of regulated entities

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Last week, pursuant to a statutory mandate included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, six federal financial regulatory agencies issued proposed standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities. The proposed standards are open for public comment for a 60-day period, and final standards are likely to be promulgated early in 2014.

All companies regulated by the agencies should be aware of the proposed standards and may wish to start evaluating their existing diversity policies and practices in light of them. Once the final standards are promulgated, it is likely that regulated entities will need to adjust their existing policies and practices to conform.

A provision of Dodd-Frank that initially received little attention, section 342, created an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) within each of six federal financial regulatory agencies: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the National Credit Union Administration; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The OMWI offices were created to monitor and promote diversity and inclusion within the agencies and the entities they regulate…

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