7 October 2021
The FCA, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Bank of England (the Regulators) have produced a joint discussion paper which closed for comment last week, Diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change. Its aim is to engage financial firms about how there can be meaningful change on diversity and inclusion across financial services.
In its response to the discussion paper, LCP welcomed its aims but challenged the Regulators to take action to drive meaningful change in a timely manner without further delay. The firm highlighted the importance of collecting and monitoring D&I data, whilst acknowledging that there are still drawbacks and challenges to data collection and suggesting actions that the Regulators could take to address these.
Other key points raised in the response include:
- LCP encourages a broader definition of diversity, noting that the focus should be on improving demographic diversity (eg protected characteristics, backgrounds and identities) not simply focusing on cognitive diversity.
- The importance of firms articulating a D&I policy and being held accountable to its commitments. LCP commented that it is important that these policies do not just pay lip service to the idea of diversity and inclusion but are aligned with clear policies and action within the workplace.
- The firm also noted wider challenges related to talent pipelines and education that ultimately impact diversity and inclusion within financial services.
Zoe Burdo, Senior Consultant and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at LCP, commented: “There is still a lot to be done to make our industry more representative and truly inclusive to people of all identities. While there are clearly practical challenges to be overcome, there are many tangible solutions available and this should not cause delays - we believe that immediate action can effectively be taken now to drive real change.”
Jill Ampleford, Partner and a Co-Chair of LCP’s Diversity & Inclusion Group, added: “We welcome this discussion paper and an opportunity to share our experiences as a firm to help make our industry more diverse and inclusive and ultimately stronger. D&I forms the core of our internal people principles and is a key element of our business strategy. Genuine inclusion requires more than just a “seat at the table” and will require cultural change across the industry and an acknowledgement of the challenges that currently exist.”