The FCA's Christopher Woolard has spoken about what diversity and inclusion means for the regulator and the financial firms it supervises. Woolard's speech outlined some of the FCA's organisational goals and targets for increasing representation of women in senior leadership roles to 45% by 2020 and 50% by 2025 as well as to have 8% of senior leaders identify from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, rising to 13% by 2025.
Why is this important for financial firms? The FCA is leading by example by embracing and implementing diversity and inclusion. It has become clear that the relationship between diversity and firm behaviour, including misconduct, is on the regulator's radar. Diversity as a supervisory priority forms part of its strong focus on culture and governance as well as the role of the individual and the firm, and how to change behaviour for the better.
This interest in diversity, is not just about achieving social justice, but a core part of how culture in a firm will be assessed going forward. The FCA's message to firms is clear: non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple and individuals within supervised firms should not assume that their non-financial conduct is outside of an assessment as a 'fit and proper person' or of their competence and character. How long before we see 'diversity' referenced in PRIN?
Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at Ropemaker Place, London.