McWilliams: CRA Reform to Clarify Qualifying Activities, Lending Assessment

In remarks today at a meeting of community development bankers, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams highlighted several ongoing initiatives at the agency to strengthen and sustain the nation’s community banks, including the highly anticipated reform of the Community Reinvestment Act regulations.

McWilliams stressed that modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act will focus on clarifying exactly what bank activities qualify for CRA credit. The revised regulatory framework will also address the lending offered beyond a bank’s brick-and-mortar market area, as well as ways to ensure that CRA investments target those most in need within the community. While she did not put a timeline on the reform process, she noted that she continues to meet regularly with her counterparts at the OCC and Federal Reserve “to see if we can come to a broad agreement on a set of priorities for CRA reform.”

Other topics addressed by McWilliams during the meeting included the agency’s efforts to support minority depository institutions, issue guidance on small dollar lending and foster innovation.