Compliance Center: Federal Agencies Issue Final Policy Statement for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices

Federal agencies issued a final interagency policy statement establishing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.

The Dodd-Frank Act required the Federal Reserve Board, 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 to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at each agency to be responsible for all matters relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also instructed each OMWI director to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the agencies’ regulated entities.

The final standards, which are generally similar to the proposed standards, provide a framework for regulated entities to create and strengthen their diversity policies and practices—including their organizational commitment to diversity, workforce and employment practices, procurement and business practices, and practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion within the entities’ U.S. operations.

The agencies’ assessments of regulated entities’ diversity policies will not be a part of the examination or supervisory process. Instead, they will rely on a “model assessment” that would include a self-assessment by the entity. Financial institutions’ self-assessment would use the proposed standards, voluntary disclosure of their assessment to the regulator, and publication of their diversity efforts to increase public awareness and understanding.

Standards may be tailored and used in a manner reflective of the institution’s size and other characteristics. “The agencies recognize that each entity is unique with respect to characteristics such as its size, location, and structure,” the policy said.

The policy indicated that the Dodd-Frank Act states the directive to develop standards may not be construed to mandate any requirement on or otherwise affect the lending policies and practices of the institution regulated or require specific action based on the findings of the assessment.  In addition, the policy stated, “This document is a general statement of policy under the Administrative Procedure. It does not create new legal obligations. Use of the standards by a regulated entity is voluntary,”

Compliance Question of the Week

Our member lost his ATM card sometime in the last 10 days. There have been several unauthorized transactions on his account. He wrote his PIN on the back of the card. Do we have to credit his account with the money, even though he was negligent?

Unfortunately, Reg E doesn’t have a provision for consumer negligence, even if the PIN was written on the card.  If a member reports a card lost or stolen within two business days of learning of the loss or theft, the member is liable for a maximum of $50. The liability can increase to $500 if the loss is reported after two business days. The member may have additional liability if they do not report the card lost or stolen and also do not report the unauthorized activity within 60 days of receiving their periodic statement. 

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Legal Briefs

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) 

The NCUA announced that state-level data shows widespread loan growing during the first quarter of 2015.

The NCUA has released the agenda for the June 18, 2015 Board Meeting.

The NCUA posted the video of its May 2015 Board Meeting.

The NCUA, jointly with the other financial regulators, released final standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities. The policy is effective as of June 10, 2015 and comments on the information collection aspect are due on August 10, 2015.

Registration for the NCUA’s July 28th Town Hall Webinar has opened. Credit unions can register here.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The Offices of Inspector General released a report on the Coordination of Responsibilities Amount the CFPB and Prudential Regulators.

The CFPB posted a request to its blog, asking consumers with student debt stress and issues to contact them and share their stories regarding student loan servicers.            

The CFPB announced that it will now oversee large nonbank auto finance companies.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

OCC Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry delivered prepared remarks before the Prudential Bank Regulation Conference, discussing the importance of supervision and engaging with bank management early—when issues are still manageable.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued a revised policy under its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program. The revised policy provides lenders with expanded options for non-borrowing spouses to remain in their homes after the death of the last borrower.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The FDIC announced it will hold an open Board meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Federal Reserve Board (FRB)

The FRB has announced that it will implement a freeze period for Check Services from July 20 through July 28, 2015.

The FRB issued a notice alerting financial institutions that they may see an increased request from business customers requesting a split payroll direct deposit to fund myRA accounts, a new Roth IRA for people who do not have access to employee-sponsored retirement savings plans.

The FRB has issued FAQs on the Volcker Rule.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC has updated the SDN list as of June 11, 2015. The last update prior to this was June 10, 2015.

 

OFAC issued a reminder that it will retire independent data files for the FSE List, SSI List and the NS-PLC list on or around July 15, 2015.

 

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, compliance@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance, Federal, NCUA.