BOE, FCA Among Finance Institutions to Miss Gender Targets

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The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority were among dozens of organizations that missed targets to choose more women for senior roles in Britain last year.

Forty-four organizations including Lloyds Banking Group Plc and UBS Group AG fell short on pledges made under the U.K. Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, according to its fourth annual review published Wednesday. BlackRock Inc. narrowly missed its target of 30% by the end of 2020, but did achieve it in early 2021, the report said.

The earliest signatories to the charter were given until the end of 2020 to ensure 30% of their senior management were women, although some organizations set themselves more ambitious targets, including the BOE, FCA and Lloyds.

The disruption of Covid-19 was one of the most popular reasons for missing these goals. Firms also cited restructuring and a slowdown in hiring, particularly in top jobs.

Of the 209 signatories analyzed in the report, 37 -- including Schroders Plc and the Treasury itself -- met their 2020 goals. Barclays Plc and Aviva Plc were amoing the 35 that met their targets ahead of schedule. Of the remainder, about 80% said they are on track to meet their later deadlines.

“Since 2016, we have seen notable progress,” said Catherine McGuinness, who chairs the policy committee at the City of London Corp., one of the sponsors of the report. “There is, however, more that needs to be done.”

The report is part of a multi-year push to boost diversty in finance. Nikhil Rathi, chief executive officer of the FCA, said in a speech Wednesday companies looking to join the London stock market could face new requirements around the diversity of their boardrooms.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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