Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
The federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision) held a series of public hearings in four cities to receive public comments as they consider modernizing the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Each agency served as host for one of the four hearings. To access the hearing agendas, transcripts, and/or audio or video recordings, click the hearing links below.
- July 19 at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation L. William Seidman Center, Arlington, VA (FDIC)
- August 6 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA (OTS)
- August 12 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL (Federal Reserve Board)
- August 17 at the Los Angeles Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles, CA (OCC)
Hearing Topics and Public Comments
The agencies considered how to update the regulations to reflect changes in the financial services industry, changes in how banking services are delivered to consumers today, and current housing and community development needs. The agencies wanted to ensure that the CRA remains effective for encouraging institutions to meet the credit needs of communities. While the agencies recognized public comments may discuss matters requiring statutory changes, the agencies' focus was on potential regulatory changes.
The hearing in Chicago, which the Board coordinated, focused on these topics:
- Geographic coverage. What are the best approaches to evaluating the geographic scope of depository institution lending, investment and/or deposit-taking activities under CRA? Should geographic scope differ for institutions that are traditional branch-based retail institutions compared to institutions with limited or no physical deposit-taking facilities? Should it differ for small local institutions compared to institutions with a nationwide customer base? If so, how? As the financial services industry continues to evolve and use new technologies to serve customers, how should the agencies adapt their CRA evaluations of urban and rural communities?
- CRA performance tests, asset thresholds and designations. Should the agencies revise the criteria used to assess performance under the current CRA tests: small institution; intermediate small institution; large institution; "wholesale and limited purpose" institution or strategic plan? Are the current asset thresholds that apply to institutions and tests appropriate?
- Affiliate activities. Currently, the agencies consider affiliate activities only at the request of the related depository institution. Should the agencies revise the regulation and, instead, require that examiners routinely consider activities by affiliates? If so, what affiliates or activities should be reviewed? How should consideration of affiliates affect the geographic coverage of CRA assessments?
The agencies also solicited written comment on additional CRA regulation topics and questions (14 KB PDF) through August 31, 2010. The comment period is now closed, but you may view the comments on the Board's website.
Information on all four hearings is also available on the FFIEC website.