Nichols Op-Ed Calls for Modernizing CRA Criteria

As federal regulators continue their ongoing effort to update the Community Reinvestment Act regulations, an op-ed penned by American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols in The Hill today advocates for commonsense reforms that would better align the decades-old statute with the modern banking landscape.

“[R]egulators should update and clarify CRA criteria to open the door to more, not less, investment that benefits LMI populations,” Nichols wrote. “Banks and communities both win when products, services and investments create inclusive and dynamic growth.”

Specifically, Nichols urged regulators to ensure that CRA regulations consider bank customers’ increasing preference for mobile and online banking channels when determining a bank’s CRA assessment area. In addition, he supported expanding the types of activities for which banks can receive credit under CRA, including those that may not directly target low- to -moderate income areas, but are “critical to the viability and vitality of communities,” such as critical infrastructure, transit and workforce development initiatives.