news.cuna.org/articles/106525-ncuas-minority-preservation-program-starts-july-24

NCUA's minority preservation program starts July 24

June 25, 2015

WASHINGTON (6/25/14)--The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Minority Depository Institution Preservation Program Final Interpreting Ruling and Policy Statement 13-1 will be effective July 24, according to NCUA’s notice in Wednesday’s Federal Register.

CUNA’s CompBlog Monday noted that NCUA approved the voluntary diversity assessment program at its meeting last week and noted the final standards envision that a credit union will conduct an annual assessment of its diversity policies in four areas:

  • Organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Workforce profile and employment practices;
  • Procurement and business practices to promote supplier diversity; and
  • Practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion.

In the CompBlog analysis, Nancy DeGrandi, CUNA’s federal compliance information and research manager, wrote that the NCUA is looking for feedback on ways to improve or streamline its voluntary assessment checklist, which the agency included with its Letter to Credit Unions (No. 15-CU-05) about diversity standards.

“The use of these standards is voluntary and will not be part of the examination and supervision process,” wrote DeGrandi. “However, credit unions with more than 100 employees are usually required to file an EEO-1 report on workforce diversity annually.”

The Dodd-Frank Act (Sec. 342) required the federal financial services regulators to each establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) and to create standards for assessing diversity policies and practices for their regulated entities. NCUA’s OMWI will administer its program.

The CompBlog item noted that although diversity is defined in the act “credit unions are not limited to that definition and can choose a broader, more inclusive definition of diversity.”

“Remember, this is strictly voluntary, but NCUA hopes that credit unions will collect and report back to the agency on the conducted diversity self-assessments,” said DeGrandi. “It is important to note that NCUA won’t be accepting or collecting self-assessment diversity data for the next several months, or at least until the collection of information is announced in the interagency notice published in the Federal Register.”

DeGrandi outlined three key takeaways under the program:

  • A federal credit union will qualify as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) if a majority of its members, board, and the community it serves fall within one or more minority categories: African American, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian American or Multi-racial American;
     
  • MDI credit unions will have available no-cost consulting services from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives; and
     
  • MDI credit unions considering a merger should register for the agency’s national Merger Partner Registry so they can partner with other minority credit unions.