Group Says Sumitomo Unit Discriminates against Female and Minority Employees
Seiberg, Jaret, American Banker
A community group charged Monday that Sumitomo Bank of California discriminates against female and minority employees, and asked the Department of Labor to investigate.
Sumitomo officials said the charges were groundless. "To be attacking us at this point is very surprising," said Kyle Tatsumoto, Sumitomo's vice president in corporate planning. "We are not sure what their motivation is."
The Greenlining Institute, a coalition of West Coast activists, charged in a complaint with the department that there are no women, blacks, Hispanics, or Southeast Asians in the top 10% of Sumitomo management.
The group also said that women and minorities who do make it into management do not advance far. They are confined to "low-paying managerial positions with no policy input," the group said.
It urged the Labor Department to begin an investigation within a month. It also said the department should ask the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to suspend Sumitomo's deposit insurance on safetyandsoundness grounds.
Mr. Kyle disputed all of the Greenlining allegations. He noted that the bank has two female directors, one of whom is black. …