Timetable for proposed CRA rule revisions envisions late summer reveal

Proposed revisions to regulations implementing anti-redlining laws should surface publicly by the end of summer, a senior regulator said Wednesday, while joining a top supervisor from another agency in agreeing the changes should result in more investment by banks in low- and moderate-income communities, not less.

According to ABA Banking Journal, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Senior Deputy Comptroller Grovetta Gardineer said a notice of proposed rulemaking about revisions to rules implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) are expected to be issued by summer’s end. She said the OCC – as well as the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) – are considering in their proposal how to clarify CRA “qualifiying activities,” refine the assessment area definition and put to use a set of measures for gauging compliance with the rules, not a single one.

Gardineer told an American Bankers Association (ABA) conference in New Orleans that the OCC’s proposed rule preparation is based on comments her agency received through the advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued nearly a year ago (in August 2018). She told the group: 91% of commenters said current CRA rules lack objectivity, transparency and fairness; 98% said they think the rules are applied inconsistently; and 88% said the rules have become harder to understand.

But Gardineer agreed with another regulator at the conference, Senior Federal Reserve Associate Director for Consumer and Community Affairs Suzanne Killian, that regulators want no reduction in bank investment in low- and moderate-income communities. Gardineer asserted, according to the Journal, that with “greater clarity, transparency and predictability around what counts, where it counts, and where it’s going to be counted, we believe that banks will actually do more, not less.”

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