Rule proposed to determine general performance standards under new CRA rules

An approach to determine several general performance standards under new anti-redlining rules – including evaluation measure benchmarks, retail lending distribution test thresholds, and community development minimums – was proposed Tuesday by the regulator of national banks.

The proposal issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) addresses the general performance standards established under the 2020 final rule issued by the agency in June to reform rules applying the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Under the 2020 final rule issued in June, banks assessed under the general performance standards will be evaluated based on the distribution of their retail loans (i.e., home mortgage loans, small loans to businesses, small loans to farms, and consumer loans) (retail lending distribution tests); the dollar value of qualifying retail loans and community development (CD) activities and the distribution of their branches in each assessment area and at the bank level (CRA evaluation measure); and the level of their CD activities in each assessment area and at the bank level (CD minimum calculation).

The proposal, the agency said, seeks comment on the approach the OCC would use to set these benchmarks, thresholds, and minimums.

In addition to the components of general performance standards, the OCC also said its proposal explains how the agency would assess significant declines in CRA activities levels in connection with performance context following the initial establishment of the benchmarks, minimums, and thresholds.

Finally, the agency said, the proposed rule would make clarifying and technical amendments to the 2020 final rule.

The proposed rule was issued with a 60-day comment period, which starts as soon as the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

Community Reinvestment Act Regulations

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