DP2/21 – Diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change

PRA Discussion Paper 2/21 | Bank Discussion Paper | FCA Discussion Paper 21/2
Published on 07 July 2021

Overview

This Discussion Paper (DP) is issued by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as the Bank of England (the Bank) in its capacity of supervising financial market infrastructure firms (FMI).

Our joint ambition is to ensure the financial system is better able to support the economy through well run firms and sound financial markets that can meet the diverse needs of their consumers. We want a resilient financial services sector, which brings together and responds to different views and perspectives, so that concerns can be raised and decisions are challenged effectively. Having firms that represent the society they serve would support the design of financial services and products that improve consumer outcomes. An inclusive culture in which all staff can speak up allows the benefits of diversity to flourish. Together, diversity and inclusion can reduce groupthink, encourage debate and innovation, and thereby improve outcomes for consumers and across markets, supporting financial stability.

We are publishing this DP to engage financial firms and other stakeholders in a discussion on how we can accelerate the pace of meaningful change and what role we can most usefully play to support this change. We reiterate why diversity and inclusion is important for our objectives. And we explore how to build on existing requirements to support and monitor progress in the UK financial sector. The regulators are working together to clarify our regulatory approach to diversity and inclusion in pursuit of our statutory objectives and having due regard to our Public Sector Equality Duty. This discussion will support our engagement with stakeholders and policy development, helping to determine which interventions could have the greatest impact.

Responses and next steps

We welcome contributions from all parts of the financial sector, and parties with an interest in this issue. This includes:

  • firms
  • industry groups/trade bodies
  • consumer groups and individual consumers
  • policy makers and other regulatory bodies
  • industry experts and commentators
  • academics and think tanks
  • organisations representing the interests of groups of people

Firms may be particularly interested in responding, as any future policy may directly apply to them. But we welcome the views of organisations and individuals beyond these firms and their employees, who have an interest in responding. Stakeholders are also encouraged to provide examples of positive industry practices that we can learn from.

The full DP is hosted on the FCA’s website. We are asking for comments on this DP by Thursday 30 September 2021. Please send your comments to dp2_21@bankofengland.co.uk.

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