Banking Agencies Propose Revised CRA Guidance

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On March 18, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, and the OCC proposed revisions to the “Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment” (Q&As). Focused primarily on community development, the revised Q&As aim to (i) clarify how the agencies consider community development activities outside an institution’s assessment area, both in the broader statewide or regional area and in nationwide funds, (ii) clarify how to determine whether recipients of community services are low- or moderate-income; (iii) explain the consideration of certain community development services, (iv) address the treatment of qualified investments to organizations that use only a portion of the investment to support a community development purpose, and (v) clarify that community development lending should be evaluated in such a way that it may have a positive, neutral, or negative impact on the large institution lending test rating. In remarks to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition on March, 20, 2013, Comptroller Thomas Curry described the proposed changes and stressed that they are the first steps the agencies will take to address issues raised during a 2010 outreach effort to reappraise the CRA and identify gaps between CRA implementation and changes in the structure of the banking industry, and how customers access and use credit and financial products. Mr. Curry also promised training and revised examination procedures to ensure more consistent application of CRA rules. The agencies will accept comments on the revisions for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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