OCC’s Curry Details Plans to Speed Up CRA Examinations

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry today described several changes the OCC is making to improve how it examines for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. In a speech to an industry group, he outlined plans to speed up CRA performance evaluations, provide resources to facilitate compliance and increase transparency in written evaluations.

The changes come as a result of an internal OCC reorganization, bringing all consumer compliance policy and supervision under a single department, which Curry said “has already made great strides in working through the agency’s existing backlog of CRA performance evaluations, many of which had been delayed for far too long, and we expect to issue most of those older evaluations by the end of the year.”

Bankers have long been frustrated by the time it takes the OCC to examine for CRA compliance, with many banks seeing months or even years before evaluations are issued. The agency “has already taken steps to update and modernize our CRA policies and procedures, in order to ensure that reviews going forward are completed and published in a more timely fashion,” Curry added.

He also said that the OCC will continue to offer training to examiners and bankers to understand CRA compliance and how CRA performance relates to banks’ diverse business models. “We are developing new exam tools to support more rigorous performance evaluations and promote more transparency in the written CRA performance evaluations,” Curry said. “We are also working to develop more nuanced understanding of banks’ performance within the context of their unique business operations. These improvements should help provide your bank with clear direction on how to meet its goals for performance under the CRA.”