Areas under the list
are eligible to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for revitalization or stabilization activities. Among other things, the law is intended to encourage depository institutions – such as commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations.
It requires that each insured depository institution's record in helping meet the credit needs of its entire community be evaluated periodically, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. “That record is taken into account in considering an institution's application for deposit facilities, including mergers and acquisitions.”
Authorities said this year’s “continue to reflect local economic conditions, including unemployment, poverty and population changes.”
A one-year lag period is given to areas included in the 2016 list but not on the current list (no longer considered distressed or underserved). Authorities reviewed four factors in determining which areas are included in the list – poverty rate, population, unemployment, and low density.
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The list of distressed and underserved non-metropolitan, middle-income areas was released Wednesday by the Board of Governors of the Federal System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.