Blog FinReg + Policy Watch September 23, 2020

Federal Reserve Issues Proposed Rule on Modernizing CRA Regulations

On September 21, the Federal Reserve released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) soliciting public comment on its approach to modernizing regulations that implement the CRA. The ANPR seeks comment on the Federal Reserve’s proposals to meet low-to-moderate income banking needs by addressing changes in the banking industry and inequities in financial services and credit access. The ANPR includes proposals to promote financial inclusion in Indian Country and other underserved areas, including investments in Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions. In addition, the ANPR identifies proposed changes to performance evaluation standards, including proposals to tailor performance tests and assessments to account for differences in bank sizes and business models, specifically addresses the needs of small banks and those in rural areas, and clarifies and expands eligible CRA activities. The ANPR also proposes a new framework in which banks could rely on existing data collection and reporting requirements, deviating from the OCC’s plan to request new data points for CRA scoring. The ANPR also includes key tests that consumer advocates had criticized the OCC for eliminating, such as a stand-alone community development test with separate financing and service subtests. Comments responding to the ANPR must be received no later than 120 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

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