House committee plans two hearings on CRA reform proposal

A proposal to reform anti-redlining rules will be under congressional scrutiny – twice – later this month, according to a schedule released Sunday by the chairwoman of a House committee.

In December, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) unveiled their joint proposal to reform rules that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The proposal is aimed at giving banks flexibility in working to comply with the law’s anti-redlining requirements. For example, 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.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting has said the proposal would gauge how well banks serve customers who are outside of their banks’ branch networks.

However, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wants more information. In a weekend release, Waters said her committee and one of its subcommittees will hold two hearings this month about the proposal.

Waters said the consumer protection and financial institutions subcommittee will hold a hearing Jan. 14 on “The Community Reinvestment Act: Reviewing Who Wins and Who Loses with Comptroller Otting’s Proposal.”

The second hearing, set for Jan. 29 before the full committee, is titled “The Community Reinvestment Act: Is the OCC Undermining the Law’s Purpose and Intent?” Otting has reportedly agreed to offer testimony at that hearing.

Chairwoman Waters Announces January Committee Schedule