OCC Requests Public Comments on Overhauling the Community Reinvestment Act

Last week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking public comment on reforming the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting wrote in an op-ed that the ANPR seeks stakeholder input on: clarifying and expanding what qualifies for CRA consideration; establishing metrics-based thresholds for CRA performance ratings; making CRA performance evaluation more timely and useful; and revisiting how the regulators define the communities that banks serve. A notable proposal in the ANPR involves creating a ratio test to rate banks’ CRA activity: it would compare a bank’s total CRA-qualified investments against a measure of the bank’s capacity to lend (for example, total assets). This simple ratio proposal could have significant implications on the scope of investment in affordable housing and community development programs. Comments are due 75 days after the ANPR is formally published in the Federal Register. Enterprise is committed to ensuring that any reforms to CRA retain a robust affordable housing and community development system.

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