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NCUA report notes CU burden in diversity standards
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/19/12)--The administrative burden on credit unions will be taken into account as new diversity standards are developed, since "credit unions face some challenges in developing diversity policies and programs," the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) said in its yearly report to Congress.

Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act requires the NCUA and other federal regulators to create standards to assess the work force diversity policies and practices of their regulated institutions, and OMWI, which began its work last year, is in charge of developing the NCUA's diversity policy. The NCUA and other regulators are still developing these policies and rules on how they will develop these standards.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a letter sent to the NCUA late last month urged the agency to implement diversity standards "in a manner that would minimize the information gathering and reporting burden on credit unions." (See related March 28 News Now story: Avoid CU burdens in diversity policy: CUNA to NCUA)

OMWI in its annual report noted that credit unions have suggested applying the diversity standards only to "large credit unions with sufficient resources."  The agency said that some credit unions may face challenges in developing their own diversity policies and programs, as their limited number of employees, geographic location, and field of membership may limit their opportunities to truly diversify their own staff.

The office added credit unions have offered various suggestions to NCUA on how to implement the diversity policy assessment standards, such as developing diversity best practices and model diversity standards that credit unions could use as guides, and allowing credit unions to perform self-assessments of their own diversity practices.

The NCUA also said credit unions have requested NCUA use Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data to gauge credit union diversity compliance, in some cases.

OMWI also noted that its own efforts to work with a more diverse group of outside contractors have had positive results, with the NCUA's changes to procurement practices resulted in the amount of contracting dollars that were awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses doubling between 2010 and 2011.

For the full NCUA report, use the resource link. See particularly Part III on "Regulated Entities."
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