Agencies Signal Joint Community Reinvestment Act Overhaul to Come

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu today announced that his agency will propose to rescind changes to the Community Reinvestment Act regulations that were finalized in May 2020, and signaled the OCC’s intent to work together with the Federal Reserve and the FDIC on a separate joint rulemaking to overhaul the CRA framework.

“While the OCC deserves credit for taking action to modernize the CRA through adoption of the 2020 rule, upon review I believe it was a false start,” Hsu said. “This is why we will propose rescinding it and facilitating an orderly transition to a new rule. I look forward to working with the other agencies to develop a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and building on the ANPR proposed by the Board in September 2020.”

In a joint statement, the agencies noted that they have “broad authority and responsibility for implementing the CRA,” and that “joint agency action will best achieve a consistent, modernized framework across all banks.”

The American Bankers Association has long advocated for a consistent approach to CRA modernization and welcomed today’s news. “We firmly believe that there is a need to update and modernize the CRA rules to reflect today’s modern banking system and the needs of communities, but those rules must be consistent across all of the banking agencies,” said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “By proposing to rescind the OCC’s 2020 rule and announcing a commitment to develop a joint rulemaking involving all of the banking regulators, there is a new opportunity to craft a single set of rules for banks to follow.”