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Treasury Committee chair puts pressure on banks to sign women's charter

Nicky Morgan, chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, has written to over 30 financial firms to ask why they have not signed a pledge for gender equality, according to a Feb. 15 statement.

Morgan, a conservative Member of Parliament, has put pressure on banks and asset managers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JP Morgan Asset Management, UBS Group AG unit UBS Asset Management, BNP Paribas SA and Metro Bank Plc to sign the Women in Finance Charter.

A spokesman for Metro Bank told S&P Global that it signed the charter "at the start of the year," and that when the Treasury announces the next group of signatories in March, Metro will be on that list.

The charter asks firms to commit to setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management, to have one member of their senior executive team responsible and accountable for gender diversity, and to publish annual progress reports on these goals. As of November 2017, the Charter had over 160 signatories, according to the treasury.

"The progress of the Women in Finance Charter is to be welcomed," Morgan said in a statement. "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."