Banking agencies release 2021 CRA small biz, small farm, community development loan data

Data provided under the anti-redlining Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on small business, small farm, and community development lending in 2021 was released Thursday by the three federal banking regulators.

The data show that a total of 685 institutions in 2021 reported data about originations and purchases of small loans (loans with original amounts of $1 million or less) to businesses and farms, down 0.3% from the 687 lenders reporting data for 2020, the agencies (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) said in a fact sheet released under the umbrella Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). They said 618 institutions reported community development lending activity.

The report said that in the aggregate, about 9.4 million small business loans (originations and purchases) totaling nearly $371 billion were reported in 2021. The total number of loans (including purchases) and the number of loans originated both increased 12.6% from 2020. The dollar amount of small business loans originated decreased 21%. The number of originations of small farm loans increased 26.4%; the dollar amount decreased 1.2% in 2021 from 2020.

Of the 685 institutions reporting such activity, 106 had assets below the mandatory reporting threshold – $1.322 billion in 2021 – and reported either voluntarily or because they elected to be evaluated as a “large” institution during CRA examinations, the agencies said.

As in previous years, in 2021 lenders with assets that met or exceeded the mandatory reporting threshold extended the vast majority of reported community development loans, the agencies said. Overall, all lenders over the reporting threshold reported more than $151 billion in community development loans in 2021, which was down 10.1% from 2020.

Overall, the CRA data:

  • include information on loans originated or purchased, but not on applications denied;
  • indicate whether a loan is extended to a borrower with annual revenues of $1 million or less, but do not include demographic information about the applicant; and
  • are aggregated into three categories based on loan size and reported at the census tract level, rather than loan-by-loan.

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Release 2021 Small Business, Small Farm, and Community Development Lending Data