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Banks: Equality

Question for Treasury

UIN HL13878, tabled on 19 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to help increase diversity and ethnic minority representation in the UK banking sector.

Answered on

4 March 2019

It is the Government’s aspiration to see diversity at all levels across the UK’s financial services industry. A diverse workforce is good for business – it is good for customers, for profitability and workplace culture.

HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter reflects our ambition to see an improved gender balance in the financial services industry. So far, 300 financial services firms have signed the Charter, committing to implement strategic actions to improve their gender balance at a senior level. The first annual review of the Charter showed that the percentage of women amongst senior managers increased by 3% on average and, most crucially, that signatories were taking a wide range of actions to accelerate the pace of change in future years. Our second annual review will be published in March this year.

Regarding wider government work to improve diversity in the UK labour market, the Prime Minister launched a package of measures in October 2018 to make the workplace fairer for people from ethnic minority groups, including a Race at Work Charter and a consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay reporting. Over 100 employers have signed up to the Race at Work Charter, including a number of financial services firms, committing to bold actions to drive recruitment and progression of ethnic minorities.

Government also fully supports the Parker Review, published in October 2017, which looks at ethnic diversity representation on FTSE100 and FTSE250 boards. The review recommends that FTSE100 and 250 boards should have at least one director of colour by 2021 and 2024, respectively. We continue to monitor the future progress of the recommendations and will work on diversity and inclusion as a top priority in the financial services industry and wider labour market.

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