The OCC and the FDIC proposed amending the Community Reinvestment Act ("CRA"), a law requiring that insured depository institutions help meet community credit needs. The last major revisions to CRA regulations were made in 1995.

According to the OCC and FDIC, the proposed amendments to the CRA would encourage banks to provide more CRA-qualified lending, investment and services by making the framework more "objective, transparent, consistent, and easy to understand." Specifically, the proposal:

  • clarifies and expands which activities qualify for CRA credit;
  • creates additional "assessment areas" related to where deposits originate in order to expand which CRA activity counts toward CRA credit;
  • establishes activity thresholds as a percentage of domestic deposits to more objectively measure CRA performance;
  • increases the transparency, consistency and timeliness of CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping and reporting; and
  • allows small banks - those with $500 million or less in total assets - to either continue evaluation under the CRA small bank test or opt in to the new general performance standards.

The Federal Reserve has not yet issued a proposal to amend the regulations.

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