Brainard calls effort to revamp CRA regs ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to strengthen rules

Calling the proposal to revamp rules implementing anti-redlining laws a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to strengthen the rules, the vice chair of the Federal Reserve said Tuesday the changes would lead to “powerful incentives” for banks to invest in communities that don’t have banks, such as in Native American lands.

Speaking to the National Native Coalition Virtual Series on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Fed Board Vice Chair Lael Brainard said the proposed changes to the anti-redlining CRA rules would bring greater credit, investment and banking services to communities facing the greatest challenges – such as those serving Native lands.

“For the first time, the CRA will provide powerful incentives for banks to make investments in communities that do not have access to branches, such as in Native lands,” Brainard said. Joining Brainard in the virtual conference were leaders of her agency’s partners in proposing reformed CRA rules: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu.

“The interagency CRA proposal was informed by consultation with Native representatives through roundtables, listening sessions, meetings, and comment letters,” Brainard said. “Indeed, we took much of your feedback from comment letters to develop the Native Land Areas sections of this proposal. As a result of this valuable feedback, the interagency CRA proposal would provide additional scope for bank loans, investments, and services in Native communities.”

Brainard urged those who haven’t yet commented to do so by the deadline of Aug. 5. She gave no indication of when the revamped CRA rule would be finalized.

Strengthening the CRA: A Conversation with Representatives of Native Communities