Earlier this year, Nasdaq adopted a rule to require Nasdaq-listed companies to appoint at least two directors meeting diversity definitions or disclose why not, with varying timeframes.

Since then, the OCC and the NY Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent have spoken out. While neither have yet imposed a quota, they expressed board diversity expectations that banks should consider.

For years, AABD has advised bank boards to nominate qualified persons based on merit without regard to race, ethnicity, or gender. AABD has also emphasized the importance of tapping talent from a variety of socio-economic and community sources, and outside the social network of board members.

We are writing to both agencies to clarify their statements and provide more detail so that bank boards will have clearer guidance.