Fed’s Brainard Highlights Feedback Received on CRA Reform

Speaking at a research symposium in Philadelphia today, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said that there is “general agreement” among stakeholders on the need to update the Community Reinvestment Act regulations. Brainard provided an overview of the comments that have been submitted from financial groups, community organizations and others on CRA reform, noting that many of them “asked that the three banking agencies work together toward a joint rulemaking proposal so that CRA policies can be clearly and consistently applied.”

Brainard noted that there is general agreement among commenters on updating, but not completely overhauling, assessment areas and support for retaining different performance tests for different types of banks. Commenters were also in broad agreement that “CRA regulations cannot be one-size-fits-all,” she said.

Additionally, she noted that “there is an openness to expanding the use of metrics that evaluate components of a bank’s activity on an assessment area level, while recognizing the importance of also leveraging performance context information, including of a qualitative nature, so that bankers and examiners are able to identify and understand local community needs.”

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Monica C. Meinert

Monica C. Meinert is deputy editor of the ABA Banking Journal and a senior editor at the American Bankers Association, where she oversees ABA Daily Newsbytes.