Brazil's Nubank says it 'failed,' vows racial diversity after founder stirs controversy

by Reuters
Monday, 26 October 2020 15:05 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: The logo of Nubank, a Brazilian fintech startup, is pictured at the bank's headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

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When asked if Nubank's job requirements limit racial inclusion in leadership, co-founder Cristina Junqueira said the fintech could not "lower its standards"

By Carolina Mandl

SAO PAULO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Brazilian financial startup Nubank launched an initiative to boost the presence of Blacks in its management as it sought to tamp down social media criticism of discrimination set off by comments by one of its founders.

In a letter entitled "Nubank failed" issued on Sunday, the fintech said diversity was a core value and promised to set racial inclusion goals to boost diversity by November.

Asked in a recent TV interview last week if Nubank's job requirements were not limiting the inclusion of Blacks in its leadership, co-founder Cristina Junqueira made a controversial comment, saying the fintech could not "lower its standards."

"It doesn't work to allow in someone who will not be able to work with our team, to develop and advance in their careers," she said, saying that would not solve a problem but create a new one.

Her remarks triggered an avalanche of social media criticism by Nubank's clients saying they were disappointed and would cancel their credit cards and checking accounts.

Nubank, which has TCV, Tencent Holdings Ltd, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, Kaszek and Thrive Capital as investors, has 30 million clients. Founded in Brazil, Nubank has already expanded to Mexico and Colombia.

Nubank has reached the post of Brazil's most prominent fintech by offering no-fee credit cards and waving the flag of financial inclusion.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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