Big banks urged to sign up for gen­der in­clu­siv­ity

Western Mail - - BUSINESS IN WALES -

MA­JOR banks in­clud­ing Gold­man Sachs and JP Mor­gan have been called out by an in­flu­en­tial par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee for fail­ing to sign the Women in Fi­nance Char­ter and pledg­ing to pro­mote gen­der di­ver­sity in their busi­nesses.

Con­ser­va­tive MP and head of the in­flu­en­tial Trea­sury Se­lect Com­mit­tee Nicky Mor­gan has writ­ten to 33 fi­nan­cial ser­vices firms in­clud­ing BNP Paribas, PIMCO and UBS, who have yet to be­come sig­na­to­ries.

She has given com­pa­nies un­til Fri­day to con­firm that they plan to join the ini­tia­tive or give de­tails of why they have de­cided not to do so.

“The progress of the Women in Fi­nance Char­ter is to be wel­comed. The aim, how­ever, must be to see all firms in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor sign up to the char­ter and make a con­certed ef­fort to im­prove their gen­der di­ver­sity, par­tic­u­larly in se­nior roles,” said Mrs Mor­gan.

“As the char­ter states, a balanced work­force is good for cus­tomers, prof­itabil­ity and work­place cul­ture.

“Huge multi­na­tion­als in­clud­ing Gold­man Sachs, JP Mor­gan and UBS are yet to sign up to the char­ter, and if they don’t in­tend to do so, the Trea­sury Com­mit­tee wants them to ex­plain why.”

Com­mit­tee mem­bers – who are due to meet on Fe­bru­ary 20 – could agree to pub­licly pub­lish bank re­sponses as early as next week.

A spokes­woman for JP Mor­gan said the bank sup­ports the goals of the char­ter and is “con­sid­er­ing sign­ing up”.

Mrs Mor­gan’s let­ter was also sent to the likes of Close Brothers, AIG Europe, Metro Bank, Van­guard As­set Man­age­ment and See­drs.

More than 160 com­pa­nies had signed up to the char­ter as of Novem­ber, rep­re­sent­ing more than 600,000 em­ploy­ees in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try.

That means around 50% of the in­dus­try’s work­force is cur­rently cov­ered by the char­ter – ac­count­ing for pledges from firms in­clud­ing Stan­dard Char­tered, Credit Suisse, Mor­gan Stan­ley In­ter­na­tional and Deutsche Bank.

First pub­lished in March 2016, the Women in Fi­nance Char­ter com­mits firms to sup­port­ing the pro­gres­sion of women into se­nior roles, to pub­licly re­port on progress on de­liv­er­ing in­ter­nal di­ver­sity tar­gets, and have at least one mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive team re­spon­si­ble and ac­count­able for gen­der di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion.

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