CUNA backs legislation to advance DEI in financial services

September 8, 2020

CUNA and its members are committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continue to play a meaningful role throughout every aspect of the financial services sector, CUNA wrote to leadership of the House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity and inclusion Tuesday. CUNA’s letter includes support for several pieces of legislation it believes would advance DEI principles in financial services.

“The nation’s 5,300 credit unions are committed to enhancing DEI in our member-owned, democratically controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperatives,” the letter reads. “This commitment manifests itself in several ways, including research efforts to establish a baseline and eventually measure changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion at credit unions; the establishment of the Credit Union DEI Collective—a network of credit union system partners, including NCUA—which is dedicated to deepening DEI in the credit union movement; a large and growing number of educational opportunities to support credit unions on their DEI journey; and CUNA hiring a Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to lead its DEI efforts.”

The legislation CUNA supports includes:

  • Financial Regulatory Advisory Committees Act
  • Federal Home Loan Bank Board Diversity Act; and
  • Federal Reserve Bank Board Diversity Act.

“These pieces of legislation would require the consideration of at least one individual reflective of gender diversity and one individual reflective of racial or ethnic diversity when filling advisory committee vacancies, any vacancy of the Federal Home Loan Bank boards of directors, and any vacancy of the Federal Reserve bank board of directors, respectively,” the letter reads.

CUNA also noted its concern with several pieces of legislation that would apply to all financial institutions and require them to report employment diversity and inclusion data, among other information, without concern for an entity’s size or other unique characteristics.

“The Committee’s current legislative proposals to require employment diversity data from all institutions, without regard to staff size, would impose significant new data collection and reporting obligations on the overwhelming majority of credit unions, even though these institutions collectively employ only one quarter of all employees working at federally insured credit unions today,” the letter reads. “We urge the Committee to reconsider this approach.”