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

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.

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)

((carolina.mandl@thomsonreuters.com; +55 11 5644 7703; +55 11 97116-3806;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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