Diversity definition checklists result from joint agency policy

June 19, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/19/15)--Credit unions were assured that the diversity assessment standards set by an interagency policy statement would be voluntary, the National Credit Union Administration noted in its open board meeting Thursday.

The voluntary assessment standards will not be part of the examination or supervisory process.

After the briefing on the joint agency policy statement, NCUA said it will provide credit unions with a guidance letter on the new standards and a sample self-assessment checklist to help them gauge their policies and efforts.

The joint standards are related to the following 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 policy reflects more than 200 comments submitted on the proposed standards issued in 2013.

“While we strongly favor a self-assessment approach over an examination-based approach ... even self-assessment under the proposed standard is likely to be quite burdensome for many credit unions, including those already reporting diversity data to the EEOC,” CUNA noted in February 2014 comment letter. 

CUNA, together with its Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, will analyze the joint final standard in detail and is willing to work with credit unions that experience examiner-related issues with their self-assessments.

“Many credit unions demonstrate that diversity best practices are also good business practices,” said Chair Debbie Matz. “Hiring qualified staff and vendors that reflect the diversity of each credit union’s field of membership enriches the employee experience, enhances output and extends member outreach.”

The agency cannot begin accepting voluntarily submitted diversity self-assessments until receiving approval from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget later this year. NCUA will then compile the diversity data and report the aggregate information to Congress.

The statement, required by the Dodd-Frank Act, establishes joint standards for assessing diversity policies and practices of the institutions regulated by NCUA, the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of Currency and the Securities and Exchange Commission.