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One of world's top banks denies report that it requires recruiters to get approval before hiring white men

Engelke/ullstein bild via Getty Images

State Street Global Advisors, one of the world's largest investment banks, is denying a report that claimed the bank had implemented a new requirement that recruiters would need to seek permission before hiring white men.

What are the details?

In an effort to boost diversity, recruiters at State Street Global Advisors have been instructed to receive prior approval to hire white men over women or minorities, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper alleged that when recruiters seek to fill a middle-ranking staff position — which the Times identified as those positions at the "at senior vice-president level or above" — they are "required to assemble a panel of four or five people, including one woman and ideally someone of colour."

From the newspaper:

The policy is part of a drive by State Street to improve diversity within its middle and senior management, with executives receiving lower bonuses if they fail to meet robust equality targets. It has set out to triple the number of black, Asian and other minority staff in senior roles by 2023.

"This is now front and central for State Street — it's on every senior executive's scorecard," Jess McNicholas, the head of inclusion, diversity and corporate citizenship at State Street, told the Times. "All of our leaders have to demonstrate at their annual appraisals what they have done to improve female representation and the number of colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds."

How did the bank respond?

Despite the Sunday Times quoting a top State Street official, the bank released a statement following the publication of the Times' story denying recruiters would need approval to hire white men.

"State Street is committed to inclusion diversity and equity, we believe it to be a critical component of our business success, as such; we expect our hiring managers to have the best possible slate of candidates for their open positions," the statement read, the Telegraph reported.

"We work to ensure a level playing field for candidates of all backgrounds and ensure that our hiring decisions are well informed and not-biased in order to select the best candidate for every job," the statement continued. "Hiring managers are not required to gain approval for hiring a person of any specific background or characteristics, and we include a process where decisions can be challenged to ensure that a well-informed and unbiased interviewing process has taken place to hire the best person for the job."

State Street is headquartered in Boston.

The bank has nearly $4 trillion under asset management, making it the fourth largest asset manager in the world, and nearly $39 trillion under custody and administration, second in the world to the Bank of New York Mellon.

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