Comments may be used for the development of policy proposals or future rulemakings
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a call for comments on how to modernize the regulatory framework implementing the Community Reinvestment Act.
Enacted in 1977, the CRA sought to encourage insured depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The OCC’s call for comments follows feedback gathered by the Treasury and federal banking agencies that the CRA needs reforms.
Through its request for input, the OCC is seeking ways to better achieve the CRA’s original purpose, increase lending and investment where it is needed most, and reduce the burden associated with reporting and assessing CRA performance.
Specifically, the OCC is soliciting comments on the types of activities eligible for CRA consideration; how assessment areas are defined and used; metric-based thresholds for CRA ratings; the timeliness of regulatory decisions related to CRA; and the cost and burden related to evaluating performance under the CRA.
The OCC said the comments may be used to inform the development of more specific policy proposals or future rulemakings.
“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 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.”