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New York City officials this week announced new measures designed to ensure that the city’s banking institutions remain committed to fighting banking discrimination in hiring and lending. The two transparency measures will apply to any banks that seek to hold city government deposits, and will enable officials to better assess those banks’ efforts in reducing discrimination.
The announcement was made by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, in concert with Department of Finance Commissioner Preston Niblack and the city’s Comptroller, Brad Lander. The measures will be used during the upcoming biennial bank designation cycle, which is used to choose which banks are designated to hold city deposits.
The announcement confirmed that the NYC Banking Commission will introduce a process at its upcoming designation hearing that will enable the public to offer comments. Those comments can be delivered in writing and submitted in advance of the meeting, or in-person during the hearing’s specified comment period.
The other measure involves a revision of the certificates depository banks submit to receive designation. The new certificate requirements will require even more detailed information about how each bank plans to eliminate banking discrimination in lending and hiring decisions.
Mayor Adams stressed the important role that banks play in the city, while emphasizing the need to ensure that banks doing business with the city maintain a commitment to non-discrimination and equity:
“Financial institutions are critical pillars of our communities, and we must demand the highest standards from any bank that is entrusted with public funds. These new steps will ensure the Banking Commission is designating only those banks that have shown that they can protect taxpayer money and that are committed to promoting equity in all aspects of their operations.”