Fed’s Powell Expresses Support for CRA Modernization Effort

The Federal Reserve is “very much interested” in moving ahead with the interagency effort to update Community Reinvestment Act regulations, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a press conference today. The formal effort kicked off in August with an advance notice of proposed rulemaking from the OCC.

“At the Fed we are deeply committed to the mission of CRA, which is for banks to provide credit and other banking services in the communities they serve,” Powell said, adding that the OCC ANPR addresses many of the concerns the Fed has about current CRA rules. “We’re hopeful that over time there will be a joint proposed rulemaking,” he added. “It’s a process, and we’re very much interested in continuing to push it forward.”

ABA is encouraging all banks, regardless of their federal regulator, to respond to the OCC’s ANPR, for which comments are due by Nov. 19. The OCC has committed to sharing all feedback with the other banking agencies. The ANPR addresses several CRA-related issues, encouraging more lending in areas that need it most, clarifying the types of activities eligible for CRA consideration, updating assessment area definitions to accommodate digital lending channels, measuring bank CRA performance with a metric-based framework, examining for CRA compliance consistently and reducing CRA burden.