The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comment on updating the regulatory framework of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
Enacted in 1977 to encourage banks and thrifts to meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that had experienced redlining for many years, CRA has faced criticism over the years from the financial services industry as needing modernization. The ANPR is focusing on CRA regulations related to increasing lending and services to people and in areas that need it most, clarifying and expanding the types of activities eligible for CRA consideration, revisiting how assessment areas are defined and used; establishing metric-based thresholds for CRA ratings, improving the transparency in CRA performance monitoring, improving the timeliness of regulatory decisions related to CRA, and reducing the cost and burden related to evaluating performance under the CRA.
“As a long-time banker, I have seen firsthand the benefit of CRA investment and how it makes communities vibrant. I applaud the effort of community development practitioners and bankers who work together to make an important difference in our nation’s neighborhoods,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting. “I have also seen how limitations in the current CRA regulation can fail to provide consideration to a bank that wants to lend and invest in a community with a need for capital, including many low- and moderate-income areas. Unfortunately, the operation of the current CRA regulation can result in restricted resources. It is time for a national discussion on how we can make the CRA work better.”