CFPB issues final diversity and inclusion standards

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The CFPB was among six federal agencies that issued final new diversity and inclusion standards earlier this week. The other agencies were the OCC, Fed, FDIC, NCUA and SEC. The standards go into effect on June 10, 2015 and apply to all entities regulated by the CFPB or one of the other agencies. Given the June 10 effective date, regulated entities have little time to waste in taking steps to incorporate the standards into their daily business practices.

Dodd-Frank Section 342 required the CFPB and other agencies to create an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) and directed each OMWI to develop standards for assessing the diversity policy and practices of entities regulated by the agency. While the final standards generally track the standards proposed by the agencies in October 2013, they provide some clarifying language in response to public comments. They also recognize that one size does not fit all and allow each entity to tailor its compliance approach to fit the entity, taking into account its size, total assets, number of employees, governance structure, revenues, number of members and/or customers, contract volume, geographic location, and community characteristics.

The final standards contemplate that regulated entities will make certain information available to the public and their primary federal financial regulators. The CFPB and other agencies invite comments on topics regarding the information collection process and parameters, seeking input on how this requirement might affect regulated entities. Comments must be submitted by August 10, 2015, and the effective date of the collection of information will be announced in the Federal Register following Office of Management and Budget approval.

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