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OCC BULLETIN 2014-44
To: Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

Description: Proposed Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment

Summary

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the agencies) request comment on proposed revisions to the “Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment” (Q&As). These Q&As provide additional guidance to financial institutions and the public on the agencies’ regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The proposed new and revised guidance addresses questions raised by bankers, community organizations, and others regarding the agencies’ CRA regulations.

Comments on the proposed Q&As must be received no later than 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The notice in the Federal Register, “Community Reinvestment Act; Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment,” is attached. Also attached are the Q&As from March 2010, which the most recent Q&As revise. Please follow the instructions in the notice to submit comments.

Highlights

The proposed new and revised questions and answers:

  • Address alternative systems for delivering retail banking services.
  • Add examples of innovative or flexible lending practices.
  • Address community development-related issues by: (i) clarifying guidance on economic development; (ii) providing examples of community development loans, and activities that are considered to revitalize or stabilize an underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geography; and (iii) clarifying how community development services are evaluated.
  • Offer guidance on how examiners evaluate the responsiveness and innovativeness of an institution's loans, qualified investments, and community development services.

Note for Community Banks

These Q&As contain guidance applicable to institutions with total assets greater than $300 million as of December 31 of either of the previous two calendar years. Please see OCC News Release 2013-194 for more details. Small banks and Federal savings associations (banks) under OCC supervision may refer to these Q&As for guidance at each bank’s option.

Background

The CRA requires each federal financial supervisory agency to assess the record of a financial institution in helping to meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations. The agencies consider that record when reviewing certain licensing applications by an institution. The interagency Q&As provide guidance for use by agency personnel, financial institutions, and the public for the interpretation of the requirements of the agencies’ regulations implementing the CRA.

Further Information

Please visit the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Web site to learn more about the CRA, the agencies’ CRA regulations, and these Q&As.

 

Grovetta N. Gardineer
Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Operations and Policy

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