Visa ‘facing US investigation’ over debit card practices

first_img Visa’s shares dropped following reports of the US antitrust probe (Getty Images) Also Read: Visa ‘facing US investigation’ over debit card practices Earlier this week it emerged Visa was planning to hike fees on purchases made by UK-based customers from most of Europe. whatsapp The focus of the probe is on online transactions but investigators are also looking into in-store issues, according to the report. Show Comments ▼ Share The probe is focused on the issue of so-called network fees, which are invisible to consumers but lucrative for card companies. Merchants often pass these fees on in the form of higher prices for customers. James Warrington Visa ‘facing US investigation’ over debit card practices Visa’s share price dropped almost 4.5 per cent on the report. Visa is said to be facing a regulatory investigation in the US over concerns it is engaging in anti-competitive practices in the debit card market. Friday 19 March 2021 3:58 pm The payments giant is preparing to inform its 4,000 clients that the interchange fees will be hiked to 1.5 per cent — a fivefold increase — for online credit card payments, Sky News reported. It comes after Visa was earlier this year forced to call off its $5.3bn (£3.8bn) merger with fintech startup Plaid after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal on antitrust grounds. Authorities argued the tie-up would “eliminate a nascent competitive threat” to Visa, which it described as a “monopolist in online debit transactions”. Visa’s shares dropped following reports of the US antitrust probe (Getty Images) Also Read: Visa ‘facing US investigation’ over debit card practices Visa’s shares dropped following reports of the US antitrust probe (Getty Images) The US Department of Justice has been looking at whether Visa limited merchants’ ability to route transactions over card networks that are often less expensive, the Wall Street Journal reported. Visa declined to comment. The Justice Department did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. whatsapp The new probe is also said to be examining if the payment processor’s practices are allowing it to maintain a dominant market share unlawfully. Visa’s shares dropped following reports of the US antitrust probe (Getty Images) Also Read: Visa ‘facing US investigation’ over debit card practices last_img read more

Hays operating profit to beat expectations after strong March hiring

first_img whatsapp Hays operating profit to beat expectations after strong March hiring In Germany, Hays’ biggest market, fees were down five per cent with strong momentum through the quarter as business confidence improved. Fees in the UK and Ireland were down 14 per cent while Australia and New Zealand slipped 13 per cent.  whatsapp In a trading update the recruitment firm said while fees were down 10 per cent in the third quarter there had been encouraging signs of “strong sequential fee growth”. It now expects operating profit for 2021 to be at least £85m compared with £135m in 2020.  Show Comments ▼ Recruitment firm Hays has forecast full-year operating profit to be ahead of expectations. Also Read: Hays operating profit to beat expectations after strong March hiring Angharad Carrick “We are confident we will continue to take further market share as clients and candidates look for our expert recruitment guidance, both during and after Covid,” Cox added.  Hays has forecasted annual profit to be ahead of expectations after hiring activity picked up in some of its key markets last month. center_img The company said the second and third lockdowns have had “minimal negative impact” on its fees but March 2021 figures are still 13 per cent lower than March 2019 net fees.  While the company’s consultant headcount dropped 12 per cent in the previous year, it said it expects to increase hiring by between two and four per cent in the fourth quarter. Recruitment firm Hays has forecast full-year operating profit to be ahead of expectations. Recruitment firm Hays has forecast full-year operating profit to be ahead of expectations. Also Read: Hays operating profit to beat expectations after strong March hiring Tuesday 13 April 2021 9:00 am Share Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBrake For ItSay Goodbye: These Cars Will Be Discontinued In 2021Brake For ItUndoFactableAluminum Foil Uses You’ll Want to KnowFactableUndoMoneyWise.comMechanics Say You Should Avoid These Cars In 2021  MoneyWise.comUndoMoney PopThe Most Overpriced Vehicles On the Market Right NowMoney PopUndoThe Legacy ReportMan Who Predicted 2020 Crash 45 Days Early Issues Next Major WarningThe Legacy ReportUndoDrivepedia30+ Funny Photos Of Car Owners Having A Rough DayDrivepediaUndoLivestlyPlugs Have These Two Holes At The End, Here’s WhyLivestlyUndoOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute WorkoutUndoDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily FunnyUndo “Despite our markets remaining impacted by the pandemic, we continued to see improving momentum across the quarter and I am pleased to say group fees were ahead of our expectations,” chief executive Alistair Cox said. March 2021 fees were four per cent ahead of March 2020 fees, Hays said today.  More From Our Partners Astounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comlast_img read more

Y-K Delta Democrats discuss Fansler’s potential replacement

first_imgJuneau | Southwest | State GovernmentY-K Delta Democrats discuss Fansler’s potential replacementFebruary 1, 2018 by Teresa Cotsirilos, KYUK-Bethel Share:District 38 Rep. Zach Fansler speaking with Bethel resident Mary Nanuwak at the December 12, 2017 Bethel City Council meeting. Fansler is accused of hitting a woman when she tried to leave his hotel room. (Photo by Christine Trudeau/KYUK)State Rep. Zach Fansler refuses to resign from the House, but his constituents are already planning to replace him.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Bethel legislator is accused of assaulting a woman when she denied his sexual advances, and members of his coalition are demanding that he step down.Democrats met Tuesday in Bethel to discuss who should replace Fansler if he resigns or gets expelled from his seat.About 20 of Fansler’s constituents filed into an empty classroom on Bethel’s Kuskokwim University campus in Bethel and tried to decide what to do.The informal meeting was attended by local professors, non-profit organizers and city officials.Local citizen Bev Hoffman helped organize it.“We need to meet immediately,” Hoffman said. “And it is my hope that leaders in the District 38 communities are doing the same thing.”Fansler’s scandal is creating a headache for local Democrats.If Fansler goes, Gov. Bill Walker could select a replacement from three people recommended by the local party to finish out his term.District 38’s Democrats weren’t prepared for this. They’re between party chairs at the moment, so no one’s technically in charge.Without a chair, they can’t nominate anyone.Then, they’ll need to caucus to make their three selections.District 38 includes dozens of Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages, and constituents in those communities would need to participate in the caucus remotely.“If the Democratic Caucus says you have to be present to participate, you’re excluding a lot of people who should be involved,” former AVCP president Myron Naneng argued at the meeting.Beyond the logistical challenge, District 38’s Democrats may have trouble finding those three replacements for Fansler.It’s not that the Y-K Delta lacks leadership, said Kathy Hanson, a former teacher at the university attending the meeting, it’s that the leaders are needed here.Not many people can just drop what they’re doing and move to Juneau.“I think there are a number of people who could do the job very well,” Hanson said.” Many of them have jobs, so that narrows the group down pretty quickly.”Of course, there’s a chance that Walker won’t pick anyone that the caucus recommends.When Rep. Dean Westlake resigned last month, Walker selected Kotzebue native John Lincoln to replace him, who was not one of the three candidates that his District’s Democrats submitted initially.Like many of his constituents, community members at the meeting were still trying to process the allegations against Fansler.Kathy Hanson voted for, and with, him for years. They both taught at the university.“He and I agree on most of the issues,” Hanson said. “He’s articulate and I thought he’d serve our district well, and I think he has in many, many, many ways.”“So,” Hanson said with a sigh, “This is tough. It’s just so unfortunate that it happened, if it happened. Sounds like it did.”Hanson and District 38’s Democrats took the first step toward replacing Fansler.The district caucus will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 6, at the Kuskokwim University campus to elect a new district chair.Share this story:last_img read more

The Euros of Hollywood Lives Up to Low Expectations

first_imgCelebrityTVThe Euros of Hollywood Lives Up to Low ExpectationsThe stars of Bravo’s newest reality show live out every Los Angeles stereotype but with thicker accentsBy Jennifer Tehrani – November 5, 20141256ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItBravo continues its quest to give absolutely everyone on earth a reality show. The network’s latest venture? Euros of Hollywood. The show, which premiered on Monday night, features six European transplants searching for their golden tickets in Los Angeles. These aren’t your typical rags to riches tales, more like riches to greater riches. This is Bravo after all; you’re either rich or formerly rich and filing for bankruptcy. The Euros come from different cultures, but they live in a familiar universe, one where diamonds and designer labels are the lingua franca. They’re flamboyant, extravagant, and ridiculous but definitely not boring. With their grand aspirations and made-for-TV personalities, they’re also cookie cutter stereotypes of how outsiders expect Angelenos to be. A toast for the deeply shallow.Massimo DobrovicHistorians have yet to discover the precise origin of the “Gay or European?” meme but Massimo would be one of its first objects of inquiry. We’re talking yellow suits, leopard print robes, and tees tighter than Spanx (for the record, he says he’s straight). Nothing the man does is subtle; even his intimate dinner parties deserve Michelin stars. Back in Italy he’s a successful actor, but he’s come to Hollywood with a plan to win an Oscar. Basically, he’s a flashier version of every local waiter.BleonaStuck up and self-absorbed, this international pop star is the Madonna of Albania. Yes, really. (Is she big in Luxembourg, too?) In her native country she’s chummy with the Prime Minister. Here she’s virtually unknown. Despite her diva antics she lives anonymously among us mere mortals. It’s a source of much frustration, which she often takes out on her costars—and almost everyone else who makes eye contact.Sascha GerechtBy stereotypical standards, if you live in this city, you’re either an entertainer or entrepreneur. Sascha happens to be both. This workaholic is a DJ, music producer, clothing designer, and nightclub and restaurant owner who still finds time for frequent gym visits. And you thought you were an overachiever. While his wife and two kids still live in Germany, Sascha’s trying to create an empire. His goal? He wants to be bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger (hopefully without a cheating scandal).Jannik OlanderOwner of jewelry line Nialaya, the Danish “king of bling” named his company after a shaman he met in India. He’s the “zen” import, burning sage, practicing yoga, and meditating. If this were 2005, he’d have a red Kabbalah string tied around his wrist. Jannik doesn’t wear denim cutoffs or drive a Prius. With a young, American girlfriend on his arm, he sports crisp blazers and roams the city in a pearl white Bentley. Namaste.Isabel AdrianHollywood marriages aren’t of the low key, “white picket fence” variety. This is a city full of power couples, and Isabel got the memo. With her husband Steve Angello of EDM trio Swedish House Mafia, the model and TV personality has journeyed to the U.S. and become a player in the music industry, even helping her fellow Euros navigate their careers. She and her husband are the self proclaimed Brad and Angelina of Sweden. Isabel has the pillowy lips but she only has two kids. Time to start calling adoption agencies.FawniIn her skintight dresses and sky-high heels, platinum blonde Fawni looks like the sort of woman a retired millionaire would bring to a cocktail party so everyone could awkwardly wonder: granddaughter or paid escort? Like some of her castmates, she has found success in music and scored a #1 hit in Japan. Her singing career fizzled when she divorced her husband/manager, but this Austrian is bouncing back as an artist, a pretty good one too. Watch out, world. She’s Andy Warhol with Paris Hilton’s wardrobe, and she’s ready to “grab life by the testicles.” Ouch. TAGSIsabel AdrianJannik OlanderGermanyAustraiBleonaBravoEuropeEuros of HollywoodFawniAlbaniaMassimo DobrovicReality ShowSascha GerechtSwedenPrevious articleThis Week’s Jalopnik’s Auto Film Fest Includes L.A. Racing MovieNext article10 More Trader Joe’s Products That Are Super AddictiveJennifer Tehrani RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORMillion Dollar Listing’s Fredrik Eklund Finds His L.A. GrooveThe Cast of There Goes the Motherhood, Ranked by How Much We Wish They Had Been Our Moms PromotionBravo’s Red Carpet Premiere for Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorcelast_img read more

UK house prices in charts: London’s growth slows, but how are other regions performing?

first_img Share whatsapp Tuesday 18 November 2014 6:59 am by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorLoan Insurance WealthDolly Parton, 74, Takes off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsLoan Insurance WealthPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver Health Billy Ehrenberg whatsappcenter_img Show Comments ▼ Tags: London house prices UK house prices More From Our Partners Astounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still UK house prices in charts: London’s growth slows, but how are other regions performing? UK house prices growth slowed between August and September, as the cooling London market weighed on the rest of the UK.As this chart shows, London’s price index fell by 1.1 per cent between August and September. The UK as a whole saw a drop of 0.2 per cent. Once the London effect is removed from the equation, the data shows that prices are continuing to rise elsewhere. Here is a chart showing annual percentage changes for August and September:Prices for the UK excluding London grew by 0.1 per cent, while taking the south east from the equation too showed growth outside the typical engine room of the market up by 0.2 per cent. Outside the capital, which still has an annualised growth rate of 18.8 per cent, the East of England saw the strongest growth for the year to September.The seasonally adjusted figures show a moderate rise between August and September, of 0.4 per cent for the UK. This is perhaps more illustrative as using annualised data removes more of the market’s volatility. Note the huge, recession-shaped dip in the middle.Again, with London removed, the rise is greater: 0.7 per cent. The gains increase to 1.3 per cent when the south east is removed too.London’s annual growth however still dwarfs the rest of the UK, and the capital remains the engine behind the market’s revival.A closer look at the last five years shows the recent effects London’s prices have had on the wider market. Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agents Marsh & Parsons, believes that despite the moderation of growth, the UK’s market looks healthy. He also sees London as an injector of energy:The legs of house price growth are certainly feeling the effects of the rapid uphill ‘sprint’ at the start of 2014. Property prices rose a moderate 0.5 per cent in the month to September 2014, and values have retreated back from peak levels in the majority of regions across the country. But considering where we’ve travelled from, the housing market recovery is still showing spritely movement, and good ground has been covered in property values compared to a year ago.London remains the spark plug injecting energy into the overall annual rise in UK house prices, and lively demand to live and work in the capital has always spurred growth on at a faster pace than in other regions.  With a general election around the corner and interest-rate hikes somewhere on the horizon, house price growth is expected to continue to slow in the coming months. last_img read more

News / Shippers with cargo on Maersk Honam must pay to get it released

first_img Shippers with cargo aboard the fire-stricken Maersk Honam will have to stump up over half its value if it is to be released under general average arrangements.MSC, Maersk Line’s 2M partner, confirmed this morning that the vessel is due to finally dock at Dubai on 22 May, with discharging likely to take between four days and a week.This week, vessel salvor Richard Hogg Lindley (RHL) fixed the salvage security at 42.5% of the cargo value, as well as requiring a further 11.5% as a general average deposit.This means a shipper with goods worth $100,000 in a container faces a combined general average and salvage security bond bill of $54,000 to have the cargo released.MSC said this week: “The submission of the GA and salvage securities is a prerequisite for the cargo to be released from Jebel Ali.“Following completion of the discharging operations, the containers identified as potentially damaged will undergo an inspection at Jebel Ali and relevant customers will be invited to be represented at a joint inspection.“Containers that are identified as sound will be loaded at first opportunity to reach their final destination, provided GA and Salvage securities have been submitted and released confirmed by RHL.”Alex Kemp, partner at global law firm HFW, explained: General average is a tool for sharing the losses arising from a marine casualty between all the parties involved in that casualty. The vessel owners, bunker owners, container shell owners and cargo owners will all contribute their share to the losses incurred.“In order to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, the vessel owner usually has the power to detain the cargo pending the provision of security. If security is not provided, it is often open to the vessel owner to sell the cargo in order to raise the funds to pay the contribution due from that particular cargo owner,” he said.However, in a further twist today, MSC that it would also look to pass on part of the extra transport and port costs incurred in Dubai to shippers with undamaged cargo.“In consideration of the important geographical deviation provoked by the salvage operations and of the consecutive extra handling/storage costs that will accrue at port of refuge, MSC will unfortunately not be in position to carry your cargo to destination without collecting additional charges.“We are therefore requesting an amount of $750 per 20ft or $1,250 per 40ft. This amount is destined to cover all additional transhipment, storage and on-carriage costs MSC will face as the result of this regrettable casualty.”It added: “We are profoundly sorry for these additional costs which are imposed on us by the situation.”For shippers that do not want to pay the extra charge, MSC said their containers would be “handed back to your local representatives under the double prerequisite that the original bills of lading have been returned to us duly endorsed and that your shipment has been released from general average/salvage, and will be subject to payment of storage and demurrage as per our tariff”.Customers have until the close of business on 24 May to relay their decision to the carrier. By Gavin van Marle 18/05/2018last_img read more

Lee County officials to accept millions for homelessness relief

first_imgAdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Lee County Commission could allocate over $3 million to fight homelessness June 16, 2021 Balloons from your outdoor celebration could be dangerous to wildlife June 16, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Lee County Blue-green algae bloom detected in Orange River & two Lee County boat ramps June 9, 2021 All-electronic tolls to stay on certain Lee County bridges June 15, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Advertisement LEE COUNTY, Fla.– The Lee County Board of Commissioners will vote if they will accept different state and federal grants on the morning of June 15. Lee County officials are set to accept over $3 million dollars for homelessness relief. All of the funds will go towards housing and resources for homeless citizens in the county. The money must be used by June 30, 2022. RELATEDTOPICS Advertisementlast_img read more

5K your way for Ballyfin NS – with some great prizes up for grabs

first_imgHome News Community 5K your way for Ballyfin NS – with some great prizes up… NewsCommunity Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival The Coronavirus restrictions have meant that normal run-of-the-mill fundraisers currently aren’t possible.But it has led to all sorts of creative ideas to raise much-needed funds for many local groups.The Ballyfin NS Parents Council are one such group and they’re currently organising a virtual 5K walk, run, stroll or roll.And there are some great prizes to be won, including dinner for two in Ballyfin Demesne and Ken Black vouchers for the most novel costumes.“Between Friday, January 29, and Monday, February 8, we are encouraging you and your family to get out and active within your 5km by completing a novelty run/walk,” say the organisers.“There are five Ken Black vouchers to be won for the most nove kids costumes. Simply tag us “Ballyfin NS Parents Council” in your photos on Facebook to be with a chance to win.”Every €10 donation gives entry into the raffle for dinner for two in Ballyfin Demesne.You can donated on this link.The raffle will take place after February 8 and the winner will be announced on Facebook.SEE ALSO – Check out all the recent LaoisToday Podcasts here WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Electric Picnic Electric Picnic TAGSBallyfin DemesneBallyfin NS 5K your way for Ballyfin NS – with some great prizes up for grabs Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Twitter Electric Picnic Previous articleLaois soccer club launch development fundraiser after site for new playing facilities securedNext articleLaois student earns prestigious Trinity College Entrance Exhibition Award LaoisToday Reporter WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest By LaoisToday Reporter – 26th January 2021 Facebook Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Twitter Pinterestlast_img read more

Smaller UK banks to review sale of hedging products‎

Seven smaller banks have signed onto an effort to review, and redress, improper sales of interest rate hedging products, which was announced by British regulators last month. On June 29, the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced that four big banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS) had agreed to provide redress to customers who were improperly sold complex interest rate hedging products, after the FSA’s review of these sales found a range of poor sales practices including: poor disclosure of exit costs; failure to ascertain the customers’ understanding of risk; non-advised sales straying into advice; over-hedging; and, incentives driving these practices. And, it noted that the improper sales resulted in “a severe impact” on a large number of the small- and medium-sized businesses that bought these complex products. OSFI seeks to step up sector’s cyber resilience Related news On Monday, the FSA said that seven additional banks have volunteered to review their sales of these products, too, including: Allied Irish Bank (UK), Bank of Ireland, Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, Co-operative Bank, Northern Bank and Santander UK. They will participate in the review and redress exercise on the same basis as the larger banks. The regulator notes that these seven banks represent a small proportion (around 10%) of the overall interest rate hedging product sales in the United Kingdom. And, the FSA has not examined their sales of these products, so it has not found whether they have engaged in the same practices as the larger banks. So, it notes that by agreeing to join the review, the banks are ensuring customers that bought these products will be treated consistently regardless of who sold them. The FSA also said that it has now agreed with the four larger banks on the terms of reference for their independent reviewers, and it expects the banks to proceed rapidly with their reviews. Clive Adamson, director of supervision in the FSA’s conduct business unit, said, “The terms of reference that we have agreed for the independent reviewers shows the detailed and thorough scrutiny that we will expect of them.” Adamson also noted that the participation of the seven smaller banks in the review and redress exercise, “shows their willingness to do the right thing and ensure their customers who bought these products can be confident that they will be treated on an equal basis.” Keywords Banking industryCompanies Financial Services Authority James Langton Translating climate risks into financial risks takes work How should banks allocate capital for crypto? Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Web exclusive: Firms deliver on diversity

Tech tools are inefficient and outdated Concerns about the back-office staff Pension plans are big liabilities for firms In a country as diverse as Canada, it comes as no surprise that the deposit-taking institutions included in this year’s Report Card on Banks and Credit Unions are putting a significant focus on — and excelling at — providing an inclusive and diverse work environment. That was the message that financial advisors surveyed for this year’s Report Card are sending as they gave their employers a rating of 9.1 in the “firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy” category. That’s a slight bump from 9.0 last year, as well as the second highest overall average performance rating. Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Clare O’Hara Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The reason for this is that many firms have placed an added emphasis on the issues concerning many of the cultural groups found within Canada, as well as on the issues affecting women, people with disabilities (both visible and non-visible), aboriginal people and people of all sexual orientations. For most of the firms in this year’s Report Card, their ratings in the diversity and inclusion category is among their top three; furthermore, every firm is outperforming their advisors’ expectations in this area. “It’s important to have a diversity and inclusion strategy at your workplace because we should be reflecting the community we are in,” says an advisor in Ontario with St. Catherines, Ont.-based Meridian Credit Union. “The bank has a diversified hiring strategy that has been implemented in the past few years which is great for helping clients who speak different languages,” adds an advisor in Atlantic Canada with Toronto-based Canadian Bank of imperial Commerce (CIBC). Toronto-based TD Canada Trust continues to be top-ranked firm in the category with a performance rating of 9.8. TD advisors spoke about the various initiatives the bank has undertaken in this area, including employee diversity courses, online questionnaires and emails tailored specifically toward improving the workplace for various minorities. “The bank is very inclusive and caring of people with disabilities,” says a TD advisor in Alberta. “Generally, we’re a group expected to fail or not be as good, and they provided me with a lot of training that gave me the ability to be one of their best.” At the executive level, TD launched a diversity leadership council in 2005. The council consists of 14 senior executives who meet every two months to discuss the issues facing minority groups. “Our focus is on how we can further accommodate [these groups] and be accessible, to them,” says John Tracy, senior vice president, retail savings and investment with TD. “We’re constantly striving in our diversity council to raise the bar on this and that’s what differentiates TD.” Meanwhile, both Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (both based in Toronto) saw big improvements in their diversity ratings this year, with BMO’s rising to 9.1 from 8.6 in 2012 and Scotiabank’s increasing to 9.4 from 9.0. “The inclusion strategy is tremendous,” says a Scotiabank advisor in Ontario. “We’ve had 12 languages being spoken in our branch at one point.” Scotiabank set a global diversity and inclusion strategy that has been applied to all its operations across the world. The strategy focuses on five core elements, including: a committed leadership; enabling diverse talent; employee communications; engaging communities; and engaging employees. “Our strategy is about recognizing the unique contributions that each employee brings to the workplace and leveraging those contributions,” says Alice Eastman, senior vice president, customer experience and distribution strategy, with Scotiabank. “Employees aren’t all the same and nor do we want them to be all the same.” Since 2000, Scotiabank has implemented employee resources groups in which employees with common ground are able to come together and network with one another. One of the first groups to be established was Scotiabank Universal Access, which allows employees dealing with accessibility barriers in the workplace to come together. Today, the bank has nine groups in total including the Scotiabank Aboriginal Network and Scotiabank Pride. Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has a similar strategy of connecting employees who may be facing similar challenges; to that effect, it has recently launched several programs through a web-based platform. In 2011, the bank introduced Diversity Moments, web-based vignettes that help increase knowledge of diversity and inclusion issues among employees. RBC employees can also access an online class to improve English-speaking skills and a self study e-learning module that focuses on recruiting diverse talent; how to resolve diversity-related conflicts; and communicating with people from other cultures. As for BMO, even though it has the most improved rating in the category, advisors feel the bank still has work to do when it comes to its overall diversity strategy. “Diversity is lacking in the bank as a whole,” says a BMO advisor from Alberta. Adds a colleague in Ontario: “I don’t see a whole lot of diversity outside of gender. The majority of people in banks now are women.” Investment Executive approached BMO executives about these concerns, but they declined to comment. This is a web exclusive addition to the 2013 Report Card on Banks & CUs in the July 2013 issue of Investment Executive. Keywords Diversity,  Report Card on Banks Firms need to be more receptive 2013 Report Card on Banks & CUs main chart read more