The three federal banking agencies on Monday released their 2018 list of geographic areas designated as “distressed,” “underserved” or both, and thus eligible for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration in banks’ CRA evaluations under the “community development” definition.
The 123-page list, released by the Federal Reserve Board (The Fed), Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) under the umbrella of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), includes more than 3,600 tracts throughout the U.S. and its territories that are defined as “distressed middle-income nonmetropolitan tracts,” “remote rural” areas, or both. The designations continue to reflect local economic conditions, the agencies said, including unemployment, poverty and population changes.
The CRA, enacted in 1977, is an anti-redlining statute aimed at encouraging banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate.
The banking agencies designate distressed nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies and underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies in accordance with CRA regulations. (Criteria are available on the FFIEC website.) The list released Monday includes areas receiving the designation of “distressed” or “underserved” in 2018 as well as in 2017.
“As with past releases, the agencies apply a one-year lag period for geographies that were listed in 2017 but are no longer designated as distressed or underserved in the current release,” the agencies said in a release. “Revitalization or stabilization activities in these geographies are eligible to receive CRA consideration under the community development definition for 12 months after publication of the current list.”
The current and previous years’ lists can be found on the FFIEC website, along with information about the data sources used to generate those lists.