Community Reinvestment Act

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced that it will reconsider its June 5, 2020 final rule (“final rule”) overhauling its regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”).  The final rule, which applies only to national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches (“OCC-regulated banks”), made the first major revisions to CRA regulations in nearly twenty-five years and would have established new general performance standards based on more quantitative measures of CRA performance than the tests set forth in existing CRA regulations.  Our client alert summarizes key aspects of the final rule.
Continue Reading OCC to Reconsider June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act Final Rule

On May 20, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) issued a final rule overhauling its regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”).  The CRA, enacted in 1977, incentivizes banks to meet the credit needs of their entire communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.  The final rule makes the first

On January 8, 2020, Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) Governor Lael Brainard delivered remarks on the state of Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) reform before an audience at the Urban Institute.  As we summarized in a client alert, last month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) released a proposed overhaul of the regulations implementing the CRA, which the FRB declined to join.  While Governor Brainard’s speech made clear that she was not speaking on behalf of the FRB, her remarks provided insight into FRB decision-making on CRA reform and possible avenues to consensus among the agencies.

Continue Reading FRB Governor Brainard Discusses Path Forward on Community Reinvestment Act Reform

On December 12, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) released a notice of proposed rulemaking to overhaul the agencies’ regulatory framework for evaluating banks’ Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) performance.  The proposal follows a 2018 advance notice of proposed rulemaking by the OCC,

In the past few weeks, both Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) Chairman Jelena McWilliams and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting have spoken publicly about ongoing efforts by their agencies, and by the Federal Reserve Board, to reform regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”).

The federal bank regulatory agencies have been working on reforms

On October 17, 2018, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard discussed the potential for financial innovation, and in particular, fintech products and services, to foster financial inclusion of underserved families and small businesses.  She has frequently addressed the importance of fintech, including cryptocurrencies, digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies and the role of banks in

On October 12, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a Policies and Procedures Manual (“PPM”) outlining the framework to be used by examiners to determine whether an OCC-regulated bank should receive a downgrade of its Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) performance rating based on evidence of discriminatory or other illegal credit practices.  The PPM signals that the OCC intends to depart from the federal banking agencies’ recent practice of downgrading a bank’s CRA composite rating by one or two levels in virtually any circumstance in which the bank has entered into a consent order related to a consumer compliance violation.

Continue Reading OCC Issues Guidance on CRA Ratings Downgrades for Consumer Compliance Violations