Eight banks earn ‘outstanding’ CRA evaluations, as agencies propose new flexibility for compliance

Eight banks earned “outstanding” ratings for their compliance with anti-redlining rules, the regulator of national banks said Thursday, noting the remaining 16 banks for which the evaluations were released received “satisfactory” evaluations.

No banks earned either a “needs to improve” or “substantial noncompliance” rating in the December ratings release.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its latest list of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public during the period of Dec. 1-31, 2019. The evaluations were of national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks that have received ratings.

The possible ratings are outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve, and substantial noncompliance, according to the OCC.

In all of 2019, no banks received a rating of “substantial noncompliance,” according to the OCC online database. Only three banks received a rating of “needs to improve.”

At the other end of the spectrum, according to the OCC data, 52 banks received “outstanding” ratings – 15% of those in December. The OCC data show 150 banks earned “satisfactory” ratings.

Last month, the OCC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) proposed changes to existing rules implementing CRA, which the agencies said would give banks new flexibility when working to comply with the anti-redlining laws.

The proposal would do that, according to the agencies, by creating more descriptive and expansive criteria for the types of activities that qualify for CRA credit. According to the FDIC, the proposal would provide “defined criteria” that identify the types of activities that meet the credit needs of banks’ communities and, thus, can be considered qualifying activities. “These criteria would both encompass the many activities that currently qualify for CRA consideration and include additional activities that meet the credit needs of banks’ communities, such as expanding credit to areas considered distressed or underserved and ‘Indian country,’” the agency said.

OCC Releases CRA Evaluations for 24 National Banks and Federal Savings Associations