On 22 April 2021, the FCA published a speech by Sheldon Mills (Executive Director, Consumers and Competition, FCA) entitled Why black inclusion matters to us.

Highlights in the speech include:

  • There is a lack of black people across senior roles in financial services, and there is a strong business case for improving diversity and inclusion at senior levels, with black inclusion being an important part of that.
  • The racism that many black people face in the workplace is not overt, but subtle and insidious, and it adds obstacles for black people to succeed.
  • Black inclusion is important to the FCA as a regulator. It wants firms to consider how they can accelerate black inclusion at all levels as part of their diversity and inclusion agendas. Data plays an important role in driving transparency and action.
  • The FCA has recognised its own challenges as an employer and is taking action as an employer to improve black, Asian and minority ethnic representation and inclusion.
  • Less than 1% of investment managers are black. This compares with 3% of the UK population and more than 13% of London. It raises questions about the future of the talent pipeline. And representation matters. According to research, the most ethnically diverse companies, for example, are 35% more likely to outperform the least diverse.
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic adults are disproportionately represented among the growing number of vulnerable consumers – and so at greater risk of financial harm. If firms are going to be in a position to understand and meet the needs of these customers, as the FCA expects them to, they need to consider whether they have the diversity of background, experience and the right culture to overcome biases and meet these needs.