ECB Calls For Inclusive Central Banks With New Charter

July 29, 2022
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The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an equality, diversity and inclusion charter that regulators in the EU can voluntarily sign up to.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) charter that regulators in the EU can voluntarily sign up to.

EDI has become an increasingly important issue for regulators in Europe.

In April this year, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority finalised proposals to boost diversity among the firms that it regulates. This includes requiring listed companies to report information and disclose against targets on the representation of women and ethnic minorities on their boards and executive management.

In 2020, the European Banking Authority called on institutions and member states to consider additional measures for promoting a more balanced representation of both genders and on competent authorities to ensure institutions’ compliance with the requirement to adopt diversity policies.

In the spirit of these general policy initiatives, the ECB too has also been busy creating a new EDI charter for national central banks in the EU to adhere to.

“More diverse and inclusive institutions yield better results. By uniting our individual efforts, we are one step closer to better reflecting the diversity of the citizens we serve,” said Christine Lagarde, the ECB’s president.

Signatories of the new charter commit their institutions to accelerate efforts to promote working environments based on respect and dignity. They also commit to ensuring their workplaces are free from any form of discrimination.

So far, the 26 signatories include Germany’s Bafin, De Nederlandsche Bank and Banque de France.

By signing the charter, all participating institutions confirm their common understanding that diverse and inclusive workplaces enhance the performance and resilience of their institutions, according to the ECB.

The charter lays out shared principles, common goals and commitments to improve the working culture on a system-wide level, while also upholding the principles that all people are equal in rights and dignity and that diverse teams bring more innovative solutions.

Among the goals of the ECB’s charter are commitments to “reflect the diversity of the societies we serve” and to “achieve synergies and learn from each other as a group of institutions in order to have a positive impact on wider European society”.

The ECB says the list of central bank signatories will be updated on a quarterly basis to include any further institutions that decide to join. However, of the 28 central banks in the EU, only the central bank's of the Czech Republic and Denmark have not signed the charter.

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