Diversifying Wall Street is among the financial “reforms” spelled out by Dodd-Frank, but Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who wrote that provision, described the final draft of the “policy statement” as more of a guideline than a mandate.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau responded by saying the new standards, which prescribe racial guideposts for workforce diversity from the boardroom to the ranks of upper management and suppliers at financial institutions, mortgage companies, and all publicly traded companies subject to regulation by six federal agencies, as a ‘first step’.

There is good reason that banks will comply. “Regulated entities will likely find themselves in front of one or more of these agencies at some point, seeking regulatory approval or defending their actions,” he said in a recent report. “Under these circumstances, opting to ignore the standards will not put the entity in a positive regulatory light.”

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