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OCC BULLETIN 2008-24
To: Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

Description: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

As of January 6, 2012, this guidance applies to federal savings associations in addition to national banks.*

The unprecedented damage caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 to housing, business, and public infrastructure in the Gulf Coast area requires continued assistance for the area in the form of loans, investments, and services. Therefore, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, is extending the time period for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for activities in these designated disaster areas. Loans, investments, and services that help to revitalize or stabilize these areas will receive positive CRA consideration for an additional 36 months.

Under the provisions of the CRA regulations, institutions may receive CRA consideration for disaster recovery-related activities that help to revitalize or stabilize a major disaster area for 36 months following the date of designation by the federal government. However, where there is a demonstrable community need to extend the period for recognizing revitalization or stabilization activities in a particular disaster area to assist in long-term recovery efforts, this time period may be extended.1

National banks also are reminded that examiners have been given additional flexibility when evaluating the geographic aspect of CRA-related activities in disaster areas related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Thus, national banks located outside the designated disaster areas may receive positive CRA consideration for community development activities that revitalize or stabilize the designated disaster areas related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, provided that the banks otherwise have adequately met the CRA-related needs of their local communities.

For more information, please contact your supervisory office or the Compliance Policy Division at (202) 649-5470.

Ann F. Jaedicke
Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Policy

*References in this guidance to national banks or banks generally should be read to include federal savings associations (FSA).  If statutes, regulations, or other OCC guidance is referenced herein, please consult those sources to determine applicability to FSAs.  If you have questions about how to apply this guidance, please contact your OCC supervisory office.

1See Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment at 71 FR 12427, dated March 10, 2006.