Brainard: Fed will hold three months of public outreach on CRA proposal; says public wants ‘consistent approach’

Outreach – including meetings with stakeholders – on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) for reforming anti-redlining regulations will be held by the Federal Reserve over the next three months, the point person for the agency’s reform efforts said Tuesday.

In remarks before the National Congress of American Indians via webcast, Fed Gov. Lael Brainard said the agency’s ANPR for reforming rules that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) would be subject to both outreach meetings and listening sessions around the country. She said that included Indian Country, asserting that CRA reform might help address system economic inequities in that area.

“As we embark on CRA reform to strengthen the law’s core purpose, we have a unique opportunity to design a regulation that better addresses the needs of individuals and communities in Indian Country,” she said.

The comment period on the proposal ends Feb. 16.

“We recognize the challenges you face are great and we want to ensure CRA reform helps you to improve credit access and financial inclusion in tribal communities,” she said. “I am hopeful that the changes the Federal Reserve is considering will help spur new partnerships and encourage greater bank investment for tribal communities that have had inequitable access to financial services for too long. We need your input on these proposals and we are ready to listen.”

Brainard, who is cited in recent news and opinion articles as a top candidate for Treasury secretary in the administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden, said the Fed hopes the ANPR will provide “a foundation for a consistent approach that has broad support among stakeholders.”

“Stakeholders have expressed strong support for the agencies to work together to modernize CRA,” she said. “By reflecting stakeholders’ views and providing a long public comment period, we believe the ANPR provides the basis for the agencies to establish a consistent approach that has broad support.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is under the Treasury Department, issued its own final rule in May reforming its CRA regulations. (The rule was published in the Federal Register in June.) The Fed did not sign on to the OCC rules. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), which joined OCC is proposing a rule, declined to finalize the rule “at this time.”

Speech by Governor Brainard on modernizing and strengthening CRA regulations