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Bank regulator seeks to update anti-redlining law


The federal regulator of U.S. banks and thrifts is seeking to “modernize” the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), the 1977 law enacted to stamp out the discriminatory practice of redlining by requiring depositories to meet credit needs in all communities, including low-income areas.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it was seeking public input on the best ways to update the law. The regulator wants stakeholder comment on how “to modernize the regulations that implement the CRA, in order to better achieve the statute’s original purpose, increase lending and investment where it is needed most, and reduce the burden associated with reporting and assessing CRA performance,” the OCC statement said.

 “As a long-time banker, I have seen firsthand the benefit of CRA investment and how it makes communities vibrant. I applaud the effort of community development practitioners and bankers who work together to make an important difference in our nation’s neighborhoods,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, a former president at OneWest bank.

“I have also seen how limitations in the current CRA regulation can fail to provide consideration to a bank that wants to lend and invest in a community with a need for capital, including many low- and moderate-income areas,’ Otting said. “Unfortunately, the operation of the current CRA regulation can result in restricted resources. It is time for a national discussion on how we can make the CRA work better.”


 

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