Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report
A Strong Year with Many Achievements
Every year, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) submits a report to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on its efforts and achievements around fostering diversity and inclusion throughout its business. The FHLBNY makes these efforts not just because it brings positive impact to the bottom line and culture, but also because it is quite simply the right thing to do.
2020 was another strong year for diversity and inclusion initiatives. In addition to hiring, developing, promoting and retaining a workforce that mirrors the communities it serves, the FHLBNY continues to create an inclusive experience for its suppliers, prospects, members, and business partners. Below are highlights from various areas of the report including: Workforce (Employment), Procurement, Financial Transactions (Capital Markets – Funding & Investments) and Housing and Community Investment.
D&I was included in the FHLBNY’s 3-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021).
The Strategic Plan includes Aspirational Targets (Targets) and Yearly Checkpoints (Checkpoints) for Capital Markets, Procurement, and Employment activities to help the FHLBNY on a “best efforts basis” to measure progress towards achieving our objectives.
We maintained or exceeded most of our 2020 Checkpoints in these three areas. Where Checkpoints were not met, plans are in place to help achieve the Targets.
Forward projections for 2021 were developed to help manage gaps and expectations given the on-going pandemic and economic outlook.
Office of Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Inclusion Team Initiatives
A Workplace Inclusion Team (“WIT”) made up of employees who volunteer was assembled in 2019 to focus on a set of guiding principles for diversity and inclusion at the Bank:
To foster a work environment where everyone feels respected, included, and valued for who they are;
To enable everyone to be heard; and
To advocate for fair, transparent, and unbiased treatment so that all our contributions are equitably acknowledged on their individual merits.
Certain initiatives were identified, and plans were put in place to execute in 2020.
In light of events in 2020 related to the murder of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, WIT reconvened to discuss new objectives that included listening to our reactions, concerns, and feelings about this event and the ones that followed.
WIT also explored possible actions that the Bank can take to either add to the dialogue on social justice or bring forward the faces of the Black or African American, and Hispanic/Latino community through our stories of supporting affordable housing, how we can continue to enhance and advance D&I at the Bank and potential charities to which we can contribute.
WIT is made up of a diverse slate of Bank employees who volunteer their time to participate and engage in constructive, productive, and sometimes very emotional and uncomfortable conversations about inclusion. The team also explored how the Bank can enhance its inclusion culture so that all employees can bring their whole selves to work.
For 2020 and beyond, WIT is focused on delivering initiatives that are aligned with for main objectives:
For efficiency and effectiveness four teams are working on the following:
|Communications Team||Raising Awareness Team||Allyship Team||Community Development Team|
|Responsible for delivering commitment and efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion at the FHLBNY for Black or African American, and Hispanic/Latino employees through various channels including but not limited to social media, digital screens, Bank website, etc.||Responsible for developing programming to enhance our education around various heritage months/holidays celebrated by employees at the Bank.||Through the Bank’s pilot Allyship Program we will move from awareness to advocacy by continuing to enhance the Bank’s diversity and inclusion practices for Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino employees across the Bank.||Foster External partnerships with community organizations to help mentor and develop Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino Communities.|
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means seeking out the best mix of talent available, eliminating artificial barriers to growth within the Bank, and providing opportunities and incentives to unlock the full potential of a diverse workforce. We consider diversity a core asset, essential to building and maintaining a competitive edge which can be a key to success both now and into the future.
During 2020, the FHLBNY employed 354 regular employees, 41% of whom are women, and 59% are men. The diversity of the FHLBNY’s workforce is also very strong: 56% of the FHLBNY’s employees were diverse* and 44% were non-diverse. The number of minorities increased in 2020. Two non-minority men self-identified as disabled.
*Diverse means any Black (or African) American, Native American (or American Indian), Hispanic (or Latino) American, or Asian American.
Here are highlights of the outcomes in 2020
Amid the current unprecedented times, the FHLBNY continues to strengthen its collaborative approach to diversity and inclusion by partnering and sponsoring various diverse, professional organizations including.
National Black MBA Association
Prospanica New York
Each organization is dedicated to helping advance and develop diverse professionals, including individuals with disabilities and women. These partnerships help us support our diversity and inclusion initiatives by enhancing our diverse talent pipeline and helping to establish the FHLBNY as an employer of choice.
Throughout 2020, the Bank has witnessed the following:
An elevated number of internal and external communication regarding its D&I efforts; and
Increased networking opportunities even in a remote setting.
Since 2019, the FHLBNY has continued its relationship with the Computer Science Co-Op Program at the City College of New York which is designed to deliver qualified technology talent to local employers and short-term professional opportunities to competitive New York City undergraduates. The Bank hosted two interns through the course of six months in the Technology Group.
Supplier Diversity (Procurement)
FHLBNY total annual spend among Minority, Women, and Disabled-Owned Businesses (MWDOBs) in 2020 was $8.88 million, a decrease of $14.48 million from 2019 expenditures of $23.36 million.
This decrease is a result of the following:
Reduction of diverse spend with Women-Owned Business (“WOB”) and Minority-Owned Business (“MOB”) vendors related to the Bank’s construction efforts;
Increase of operational spend with non-diverse vendors due to COVID-19; and
The Bank’s change to only recognize MWDOB’s with an active diverse certification posted in our Supplier Gateway portal.
The FHLBNY is committed to establishing strong relationships with our business partners and actively promoting opportunities for certified Minority, Women, and Disabled-Owned Business (MWDOBs). We see diversity as a competitive strength that helps us leverage our differences to be the best. Partnering with MWDOBs helps us to grow our pool of suppliers, provide opportunities to diverse businesses, and to fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations.
Here are highlights of the outcomes in 2020
In 2020, the Bank entered into 552 relationships with all vendors. Of those relationships, 114 were awarded to MWDOBs for the purchase of goods and services. The total relationships with MWDOBs decreased from 213 in 2019 to 114 in 2020.
In 2020, the Bank’s total spend with MWDOB’s was $8.88 million, a decrease of $14.48 million from 2019 expenditures of $23.36 million.
In 2020, there were several enhancements designed to help ensure alignment with the regulatory requirements and help to increase opportunities to MWDOBs including:
— Publishing Contracting Opportunities – implementation of a pilot program in Q2 2020 to help ensure the Bank can increase opportunities to the diverse supplier population, enhance existing processes, and meet the current regulatory requirement (CR 1223.21(c)(2) (3)) for publishing contracting opportunities. The pilot will be evaluated at year-end 2021 to determine the next best steps.
— Tier 2 Spend Data Collection and Reporting – developed and implemented a Tier 2 spend reporting automated process to capture Tier 2 spend. The automated process enhances compliance with FHFA reporting requirements.
— Automation of Data Reporting – automated certain data collection processes to help ensure data integrity in reporting.
Financial Transactions (Capital Markets – Funding & Investments )
As part of the Bank’s Strategic Plan, the Capital Markets Group executed against its 2020 Yearly Checkpoint and Aspirational Targets. The Targets and Checkpoints along with the full year 2020 results are listed below. In 2020, the Bank met and exceeded most of its Activities Targets. For Liability and Asset Trades, the Bank met and exceeded its percentage of Negotiated Bond Issuances and Percentage of Mortgage-Backed Securities/Housing Finance Agency (“MBS/HFA”) Deal Participation 2020 Checkpoint and Targets. The 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Plan called for the FHLBNY to make specific efforts in several areas related to Capital Markets, including governance, outreach and education, opportunities, and reporting.
Highlights of the outcomes during 2020 include the following items
In 2020, the Bank entered into 110 transactions of negotiated bond and discount note Reverse-Inquiry issuance with twelve Minority, Women and Disabled Broker/Dealers, up from the 98 transactions in 2019.
The total discretionary Consolidated Obligation issuance in 2020 increased to $11.6 billion from $8.5 billion in 2019. These transactions generated $431,780 in fees. This is an increase of $254,821 over last year’s $176,959 fee amount.
In 2020, bond investments decreased with two trades with an MWDO Broker/Dealer for a total of $150 million of UST securities.
In 2020, the Bank purchased $61 million of MBS in eleven trades with six MWDO Broker Dealers.
Despite the Bank not being able to perform outreach in person due to the pandemic, the Bank was able to continue to build on previous years’ successful outreach through persistent reinforcement of the commitment to allow access to MWDO Broker/Dealers into our daily Capital Markets’ activities. The Bank maintained its practice of giving MWDO Broker/Dealers access to its day-to-day funding and investment needs, seeking ways to provide the MWDO Broker/Dealers additional information, and giving them tools to allow them to potentially grow their businesses through the Bank. The Bank reinforced contact with MWDO Broker/Dealers through phone calls, emails, Bloomberg messages, pre-pandemic visits in-person visits, post-pandemic video calls, and lobbying outside firms to include MWDO Broker/Dealers in several deals.
As Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Sub-group of the FHLB System OMWI Council, the Bank worked closely with the other Home Loan Banks to share information and ideas concerning the activity with the MWDO Broker/Dealers, particularly in the area of the Secured Overnight Finance Rate (“SOFR”) Debt Issuance programs. The Bank also worked with FHLB San Francisco to create and participate in a Virtual Diverse Dealer Reception on Debt Issuance held in October 2020.
Affordable Housing and Community Lending Programs
The Community Investment team has dedicated employees to conduct outreach on the credit and
affordable housing needs of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York district. In 2020, these efforts were even more substantial and targeted than in typical years, as the team sought to substantially revise the scoring criteria used for the Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”); improve its Homeownership Set-Aside Program, called the Homebuyer Dream Program® (“HDP”); and develop a strategy for using FHLBNY programs and resources to respond to challenges of racial equity.
In 2019, members of the Housing Committee of the Board of Directors had advocated on behalf of the needs of youth aging out of foster care and encouraged the FHLBNY to address those housing challenges. As part of a comprehensive review of AHP scoring criteria, a process that lasted through the third quarter of 2020, the team interviewed and consulted with dozens of local experts on housing issues, including in the area of “youth in transition.” The previous set of scoring criteria had a component to reward applicants that were providing supportive services to special needs populations; the new criteria, to be in force for the 2021 round, includes youth aging out of foster care as an eligible population and increases the points those projects receive, boosting their chances of an award. The new criteria also increase the point value of the homeless housing category, a further benefit since these young people are often at risk of homelessness.
The HDP supports low- and moderate-income homebuyers with a grant for down-payment or closing-cost assistance offered through their lender, which is required to be a FHLBNY member. Residents of the FHLBNY district who live on tribal land currently lack access to the program because no members actively conduct mortgage lending in those areas. FHLBNY employees continued outreach efforts in 2020 that had begun the previous year around how to overcome this obstacle, understanding the powerful role homeownership has in building wealth and stabilizing families. These concerns and efforts coincided with substantial outreach to FHLBNY members on how to better align the HDP processes with member needs.
Beyond the required contribution of 10% of the FHLBNY’s prior year’s net income to the Affordable Housing Program, the Board of Directors has authorized additional, discretionary programs and expenditures under the banner of Community Support Activities. These activities include the discounted advance programs, offered to support members’ lending for affordable housing and community development in low-income areas; emergency charitable contributions and grant programs in response to natural disasters; and other programs designed to respond to district needs. Among those efforts in 2020 were $1.025 million disbursed to non-profit organizations:
— $500,000 to relief organizations providing food, shelter, and medicine, as well as longer-term rebuilding support, following the January 2020 earthquakes in southwestern Puerto Rico.
— $525,000 to organizations across the district serving homeless and other vulnerable populations in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
o Recipient organizations included homeless shelters, social service agencies for victims of domestic violence, and groups that acquired and distributed personal protective equipment to front-line workers.