Emphasizing ‘it’s not a rule,’ agency letter highlights voluntary diversity checklist completion deadline

Completion of a voluntary self-assessment checklist for gauging diversity at credit unions in business practices and hiring is due before Dec. 30 from federally insured credit unions – especially those with 100 or more employees – the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) told the institutions in a “letter to credit unions” issued last week.

Throughout the letter (LTCU 17-CU-07), the agency emphasizes that completion of the checklist is voluntary. “This voluntary collection is not part of the NCUA examination process and will have no impact on CAMEL ratings,” the agency writes in the letter to federally insured credit unions (FISCUs). “There is no penalty for credit unions that have limited or no diversity practices in place. The NCUA will not publish diversity information that identifies any particular credit union or individual.” (emphasis by NCUA)

The credit union regulator pointed out that it, along with other federal financial institution regulatory agencies, issued and “interagency policy statement” more than two years ago establishing “joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities.”

The agency stated that the policy statement was mandated by provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), which encouraged credit unions and other financial institutions to “consider adopting and incorporating” the diversity standards into business and hiring practices.

The statement, the agency reiterated, is not a rule or regulation “and does not create any legal compliance obligations; implementation or use of the diversity standards is completely voluntary,” NCUA wrote. (emphasis by NCUA)

The agency noted that the diversity standards are summarized in the agency’s Letter to Credit Unions 15-CU-05. It noted that the its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) aggregates the annual self-assessment data and only shares results anonymously.

2017 Voluntary Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment