Otting hoping for interagency CRA proposal this fall

The nation’s chief regulator of national banks and federal savings associations continued to remind of his agency’s focus on potential updates to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rules during an address Friday before a conference in Los Angeles.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in a release, said it “continues to work with the other federal banking agencies to develop a joint proposal, which the Comptroller hopes to issue on an interagency basis this fall.”

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, speaking Friday before the National Asian American Coalition’s (NAAC) 16th Annual Economic Development Conference, reiterated the need to ensure that CRA remains relevant in “encouraging” banks to meet the credit needs of their entire communities.

Noting the work done well before and leading up to his agency’s release last year of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on ways to modernize regulatory CRA requirements, Otting also pointed to findings of the Federal Reserve (released in June) from its outreach to stakeholders on CRA and information learned during his own stops this summer in communities throughout the U.S. – Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and Native American pueblos in New Mexico – to discuss plans to modernize rules under the anti-redlining statute.

Otting again stated a need to update CRA requirements to “clarify what counts, update where CRA activity counts, evaluate CRA performance more objectively, and make reporting more timely and transparent.”

The OCC released its ANPR on CRA on its own last August and, the comptroller noted Friday, received some 1,500 comments in response. The Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), both of which have responsibilities under the CRA, were not part of that notice for comment. The Fed has conducted a series of listening sessions to gather additional feedback on the CRA, and both the Fed governors and FDIC chairman have indicated their desire that any proposal for regulatory changes will be issued as a joint notice by all three agencies.

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