Agencies Issue FAQs on Coronavirus, Community Reinvestment Act Activities

The OCC today released a list of 13 interagency frequently asked questions related to the Community Reinvestment Act and the coronavirus pandemic.

Among other topics, the document clarifies that:

  • The agencies will consider COVID-19-affected areas under major disaster declarations (including all 50 states, D.C., and certain territories) as disaster areas for CRA purposes for a period extending six months after the disaster declaration is lifted.
  • Banks will receive favorable CRA consideration for “community development activities that are responsive to community needs and conducted in response to COVID-19.”
  • A bank may receive CRA consideration for activities in broader statewide or regional areas that include the bank’s assessment areas.
  • Paycheck Protection Program loans will be considered “particularly responsive” to community needs when made to businesses with gross annual revenues of $1 million or less or to businesses located in low-to-moderate-income geographies or distressed or underserved non-metropolitan, middle-income locales.
  • PPP loans of greater than $1 million may qualify as community development loans if they also have a primary purpose of community development as defined under the CRA. PPP loans for $1 million or less will qualify as small business loans.
  • PPP loans to small businesses with gross annual revenues of $1 million or less that create or retain jobs for LMI individuals or LMI locales, or that otherwise meet the economic development “size” and “purpose” tests qualify as community development loans.
  • Main Street Lending Program loans that meet relevant CRA requirements may receive CRA consideration.
  • Bank activities to promote housing stability for LMI renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 “are considered particularly responsive to the unique
    challenges presented by the COVID-19 emergency.”
  • Cashing Economic Impact Payment checks for non-customers at no charge and waiving late fees and overdraft charges are examples of “particularly responsive” services for LMI individuals.

This article has been updated.