OCC community developments newsletter focuses on ‘opportunity zone’ investments

In the first issue published since 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) January 2021 Community Developments Investments newsletter focuses on ow banks can support distressed communities through “opportunity zone” investments.

The newsletter looks at banks’ use of tax-advantaged qualified opportunity funds (QOF) as part of their community development strategies, highlighting transactions in which a national bank created and sponsored its own QOF; banks that invested in QOFs sponsored by third-party intermediaries; and tools that banks can use to evaluate the social and economic benefits created by QOF-financed projects in designated opportunity zones.

The OCC, in a release Tuesday, pointed to a 2020 banker-oriented fact sheet on opportunity zones that explains how the tax benefit operates, outlines the risks and regulatory considerations of QOF investments, and discusses how QOF investments will be considered under OCC’s recently revised Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations.

The OCC said this edition of Community Developments Investments is part of a group of resources available to banks interested in exploring community development and economic inclusion opportunities in their communities; the January 2021 and previous issues of the newsletter can be accessed via the agency’s Community Affairs Publications page.

OCC Publication Focuses on Bank Investments in Opportunity Zones

Community Affairs Publications