American Banker
by: Divya Sundar

The directors of the newly created Offices of Women and Minority Inclusion (OMWI) recently submitted their first reports to Congress. These reports show a good start, but also illustrate how much remains to be done.

In the wake of widespread reports of predatory lending in communities of color during the run-up to the financial crisis, Congress added language to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law creating OMWIs in 20 federal financial regulatory agencies. Their goal is to assure “the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in activities of their agency.” In so doing, Congress recognized that these communities are often the proverbial canaries in the coal mine when it comes to problems with our financial system.

This matters. The Greenlining Institute’s