On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report outlining the Bureau’s strategies and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the mortgage industry. The report is a readout of an industry roundtable meeting held by the CFPB’s office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OWMI) with the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“The Consumer Bureau’s mission is to protect all consumers across the diverse American marketplace, just as financial institutions seek to serve them with helpful products and services,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "The insights in this report from our roundtable with mortgage lenders help to show the advantages of integrating diversity and inclusion programs in workplaces throughout the financial services industry."
Participants in the meeting included representatives from the mortgage industry, including from larger and smaller banks, as well as some nonbank financial companies. In addition, staff from the OWMI of other federal agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) were included.
Items presented in the meeting included the business case for diversity and inclusion; the importance of leadership buy-in and accountability; recruiting, hiring, inclusion, retention, advancement, and engagement; broadening the customer base with new business products; and the importance of data. Roundtable participants noted that their businesses were being affected by the changing demographics of their customer base, and how a diverse and inclusive workforce would better prepare their businesses to tackle new and complex problems.
“During the meeting I was pleasantly surprised by the frank and open discussion about the complexities involved in building diverse and inclusive organizations,” said CFPB OMWI Director Stuart Ishimaru. “The hard work of promoting diversity and inclusion is challenging, requiring continuous focus to engage employees, hold people accountable, and strike the right balance based on the size and resources of the organization. I was impressed by their commitment to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces and expanding services to a broader and more diverse pool of consumers.”
During the 2017 Five Star Diversity Symposium on May 11, Ishimaru will speak to industry leaders and diversity on the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The CFPB’s report can be found here.