Citigroup is getting less popular for black employees.
For the eighth straight year, the number of African American employees in all roles at Citigroup Inc. has dropped, according to the bank's annual diversity report. In 2009, 16 percent of Citigroup's employees were black. In 2017, just 10.4 percent were. The number of black employees there consistently rose for a decade before.
"While our commitment to diversity is strong, we realize that Citi's representation numbers for female and black talent lag behind where we want to be as a firm," Citigroup spokeswoman Jennifer Lowney said. "This year we are setting additional representation goals for females globally and for black employees in the U.S. to help drive faster progress."
However, Citigroup only plans to set goals to increase diversity at the vice president level and above according to the report. It also revealed that 29 percent of interview slates for managing director and director roles did not include any "diverse candidates."
"The breadth of background, experience, thought, opinion and perspective supports our commitment to advancing diversity as a proven catalyst of economic growth and progress," Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat wrote on the bank's website. "The richness of our teams helps us to recognize diversity as an integral part of how - and why - we do what we do every day."
The bank declined to comment further or to speculate on why the decline has occurred.
Citigroup isn't the only bank having problems retaining black employees. According to their annual reports, both Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase also have seen declines in the share of African Americans they employed since 2012. Neither have released their EEO-1 data for 2017 year.
"We are concerned about this trend throughout the financial services industry," said Stella Adams, Chief of Equity and Inclusion at National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that works to promote diversity in banking, housing and business. "Many minority borrowers are looking for trusted financial advisors that reflect the diversity of the marketplace. A recent report from the GAO shows that the industry is underperforming based upon the talent available in the workforce."