The EHRC has announced a formal inquiry into gender bias in the financial services industry. It has the power to require companies and individuals to provide information, documents or oral evidence.

The EHRC is expected to be gathering formal written and oral evidence from selected companies between April and June 2009 and to publish its findings in July 2009.

The inquiry will examine the underlying causes of the higher than average pay gap in this sector, the alleged culture of sex discrimination, harassment and exploitation, the scarcity of female leaders and the likely impact of the recession on job losses