Major banks fail to sign the Women in Finance Charter and pledging to promote gender diversity across their businesses.
Conservative MP and head of the influential Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan has written to 33 financial services firms, including BNP Paribas, PIMCO and UBS, who have yet to become signatories.
She has given companies until tomorrow to confirm that they plan to join the initiative, or give details of why they have decided not to do so.
The Women in Finance Charter was published in March 2016 and commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles, to publicly report on progress on delivering internal diversity targets, and have at least one member of the executive team responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
It was created to implement the recommendations of an independent review led by Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who has made achieving gender balance at all levels across financial services firms “a personal priority of mine”.
By signing the charter, firms are committing to driving change at senior levels of the male-dominated financial services industry.
More than 160 companies had signed up as of November, representing more than 600,000 employees.
That means around 50% of the industry’s workforce is currently covered – accounting for pledges from firms including Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley International and Deutsche Bank.
“The progress of the Women in Finance Charter is to be welcomed,” Ms Morgan said in her letter to the 33 companies yet to sign up, adding: “The aim, however, must be to see all firms in the financial sector sign up to the charter and make a concerted effort to improve their gender diversity, particularly in senior roles.
“As the charter states, a balanced workforce is good for customers, profitability and workplace culture.
“Huge multinationals, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS, are yet to sign up to the charter, and if they don’t intend to do so, the Treasury committee wants them to explain why.”
Committee members are due to meet on Tuesday and could agree to publicly publish bank responses as early as next week.
A spokeswoman for JP Morgan yesterday said the bank supported the goals of the charter and was “considering signing up”.
Mrs Morgan’s letter was also sent to the likes of Close Brothers, AIG Europe, Metro Bank, Vanguard Asset Management and crowdfunding specialist Seedrs.