It was a plea, a tirade, a call to arms.
Maurice Jourdain-Earl walked up to a microphone at a banking convention last month and unleashed a diatribe against banks and mortgage lenders for failing to hire more minority loan officers.
“Until companies diversify their work forces, they will not penetrate communities of color,” said Jourdain-Earl, a managing director at ComplianceTech, a firm that analyzes fair lending data. “People like to do business with people who look like them.”
To drive home his point, Jourdain-Earl, a fixture in the mortgage industry, waved his hand over the crowd of 300 mortgage bankers gathered in a Las Vegas ballroom. The bankers looked “like a sea of salt with a few specks of pepper,” he said.
His comments fell like a thud on the crowd. But the argument that more diversity in the ranks could boost home sales has caught the attention of some lenders.