'Racial bias runs deep' at America's largest banks, study says
New York (CNN Business)The banking industry has a race problem, and a new study is putting a spotlight on the inequalities within the nation's largest financial institutions.
For people of color, the chances of getting promoted to the highest levels of management or senior and executive leadership at some of the nation's most powerful consumer banks are much lower compared with their White peers, according to the report, which was conducted by the Committee for Better Banks and obtained by CNN Business.
"Racial bias runs deep," the report concluded.
That's true for much of Corporate America. The tech industry, in particular, has come under fire for its hiring practices. But Nick Weiner, the CBB study's lead author, says the lack of minority representation in financial services has some of the most wide-ranging consequences.
The financial services industry provides "critical infrastructure for the national economy, helping people and businesses process transactions, raise money for new ventures, and facilitate services like insurance and employee benefit programs," the study said.
"Banks are so essential to everyone being able to function in society and in our economy," Weiner told CNN Business. "There's an important high bar that banks need to meet for diversity and inclusion."
Some of the financial institutions that publicly condemned racism in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd last year have a track record of keeping African American, Latino and Asian bank tellers and call center employees stuck in low and entry-level jobs, dimming their prospects for climbing the career success ladder, according to the report.
CBB is a coalition of bank employees, consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations. Last summer, the group's researchers began gathering and analyzing demographic data on the workforces at 13 of the nation's largest consumer banks, which are legally required to provide some of the same information to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.