OCC Releases Final Community Reinvestment Act Rule

Dafina Williams

On May 20, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its final Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule just six weeks after the end of the public comment period. Significantly, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) did NOT endorse the OCC rule creating a regulatory environment where different banks will be evaluated differently for their compliance with CRA, depending on their regulator. While not unprecedented, this is very unusual.

In a statement announcing the rule change, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting acknowledged “the weakness of existing data regarding CRA performance. The final rule addresses this concern by clearly defining the data needed to objectively evaluate CRA performance and establishing the necessary recordkeeping and reporting to make that data accessible. The final rule defers setting thresholds for grading banks’ CRA performance until the OCC can assess this improved data. During the interim period, examiners will evaluate banks’ CRA performance using the current approach, using all available information, and considering all CRA qualifying activity identified in the new rule.”

In addition to the new rule, the OCC published a revised list of CRA qualifying activities.

OFN will review the details of the proposed rule and post additional analysis in the coming days.

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