FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 1999
Contact: Janis Smith
OCC Adopts Final Changes to Public Welfare Investment Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced the adoption of a final rule amending 12 C.F.R. Part 24, the agency's regulation governing national bank investments designed primarily to promote the public welfare. The new rule, which was published in yesterday's Federal Register, takes effect on January 19, 2000.
"The changes we've adopted will encourage continued national bank investments in community development activities because they reduce unnecessary regulatory burden to banks, while potentially expanding their investment options," said Jeanne Engel, the OCC's Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs.
"In addition, these changes make the rule more consistent with regulations that apply to state chartered banks," Engel added.
Part 24 implements 12 U.S.C. 24 (Eleventh), which authorizes national banks to make investments designed primarily to promote public welfare, including the welfare of low- and moderate-income communities and families. Eligible investments include investment in community development corporations (CDCs), community development (CD) projects,investments in national banks with a community development focus, and certain investments in low- and moderate-income housing and small businesses located in low- and moderate-income areas. The changes adopted by the OCC include:
Between 1965 and the present, national banks and their community development partners invested $9.9 billion in OCC-approved community development projects, with almost half of the investments being made since Jan. 1, 1993.
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