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To achieve diversity, is the NY DFS in favor of banks discriminating based on race, ethnicity or gender? This is one of the questions that AABD has asked Acting Superintendent Harris to address in its December 3 letter.

For years, AABD has advised bank boards to nominate the best qualified persons to serve on their boards regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. AABD is not opposed to diversity. On the contrary, its non-discrimination policy will lead to diversity.

In a July 29, 2021 letter to regulated banks, Superintendent Harris’s predecessor warned banks to diversify more or else. But she did not define “diversity” nor provide much guidance on how to achieve diversity consistent with law and the U.S. Constitution.

Banks regulated by DFS are now under the gun to diversify but without sufficient DFS guidance. AABD’s letter seeks guidance from DFS so that NY-regulated banks will have a clearer path to address DFS’s concerns.