The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recently conducted a survey of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) contacts throughout the Tenth District to learn about their needs for CRA information and how they prefer to receive communications.

A few key findings
Survey responses defined how long respondents have worked with the CRA (see chart). Levels of experience ranged from very new and not yet experiencing a CRA exam, to seasoned veterans who have prepared for many exams.

A majority indicated they spend 25 percent of their time or less on CRA, which also correlates to the size of their bank’s assets. In most cases, those at smaller banks devote less time to CRA activities. CRA Officers continue to tell the KC Fed that they often wear many official hats at their banks, with some respondents citing five to seven different areas of responsibility in addition to CRA.

Respondents expressed interest in topics including lending and investment opportunities, how to prepare for an exam, staying ahead of the regulation and compliance.

The KC Fed appreciates the thoughtful responses to the survey and is seeking ways to incorporate suggestions about communication methods, program content and other resources. 

Relevant resources and events
Based on the survey results, the KC Fed would like to remind you of a few relevant resources and upcoming events:

  1. CRA OneSource: a tool to assist with your CRA responsibilities. We have brought together guides, templates and videos for finding quick information from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Banks.
  2. Investment Connection Online: a quick and efficient way for bankers to find new CRA-related investment, loan and volunteering opportunities. 
  3. Investment Connection Forums: similar in purpose to Investment Connection Online, these forums provide prospective funders the opportunity to hear brief “pitches” from multiple community organizations. Upcoming forum dates and locations include:
    • Aug. 15: Denver, CO
    • Oct. 10: Tulsa, OK
    • Nov. 8: Omaha, NE
    • Nov. 16: Kansas City, MO
  1. Upcoming CRA-related roundtables and training sessions:
    • July 31: Advanced CRA for Bankers, Salina, KS
    • Sept. 18: Oklahoma Interagency CRA Officer Roundtable, Oklahoma City, OK
    • Sept. 18: Kansas City Interagency CRA Officer Roundtable, Kansas City, MO
    • Sept. 25: Colorado Interagency CRA Officer Roundtable, Denver, CO
    • Sept. 27: Wyoming Interagency CRA Officer Roundtable, Casper, WY
    • Nov. 2: New Mexico Interagency CRA Officer Roundtable, Las Cruces, NM

Additional CRA Tips for Bankers
Here are some reminders worth repeating from recent CRA programs:

  1. Consider developing a performance context for your bank to inform your examiners about your bank and the community environment. It’s helpful to remember that your examiner may not be familiar with your bank or your market, and the performance context can aid in that effort—you can find examples of what to include in CRA OneSource.
  2. Develop a working relationship with your examiner (or regulator) prior to the exam. You should consider your examiner as a resource to assist you with your regulatory questions prior to the exam.  
  3. Know your resources—the KC Fed developed CRA OneSource to assist you with CRA tools and templates. The questions and answers are a great source for lending and investment examples.

Author

Ariel Cisneros

Senior Advisor

Ariel Cisneros is a Senior Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City—Denver Branch. Cisneros focuses on the community and economic development informational needs of ban…