Congress passed the External LinkCommunity Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977 to encourage banks to meet the credit needs of the communities they served, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods. Revised in the mid-1990s, since then the CRA has operated within a changing financial landscape. These changes have affected the coverage, process, and structure of the CRA, and financial institutions’ effectiveness in meeting the goals of the Act.
In October 2023, after several years of dialogue, input, and interaction with the public and the banking industry, the three regulatory agencies – the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC – jointly issued a final rule to modernize the CRA regulation.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City held in-person and virtual meetings across the Tenth District to seek your input in modernizing the CRA. We also invited you to provide input during the open comment periods. Other Reserve Banks conducted similar outreach. We all thank you for your participation in the process.
Michael Barr, Federal Reserve vice chair for supervision, sees the value and importance of the CRA. He said, “Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 as one of a set of laws, together with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, to address redlining, other forms of racial discrimination, and lack of access to credit in low- and moderate-income communities. Fair lending laws and the CRA set the unequivocal standard that there is no place for such discrimination in the financial system, and that borrowers in every community deserve to be treated fairly.”
External LinkRedlining can be defined as a discriminatory practice that consists of the systematic denial of services such as mortgages, insurance loans, and other financial services to residents of certain areas, based on their race or ethnicity.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, “The final rule will better achieve the purposes of the law by encouraging banks to expand access to credit, investment, and banking services in low- and moderate-income communities; adapting to changes in the banking industry, such as mobile and online banking; providing greater clarity and consistency in the application of the CRA regulations; and tailoring to bank size and type.”
Key goals of the CRA final rule include:
- Encourage banks to expand access to credit, investment, and banking services in LMI communities.
- Adapt to changes in the banking industry, including mobile and online banking.
- Provide greater clarity and consistency in the application of the CRA regulations.
- Tailor CRA evaluations and data collection to bank size and type.
Find the links to the final rule, FAQs and other resources at External LinkCRA OneSource - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (kansascityfed.org), your source for CRA tools, templates, guides, webinars and other resources to assist you in preparing for an exam, growing your CRA program or learning about the regulation. All materials on CRA OneSource are developed by the Federal Reserve Banks, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Recent additions include Summary of Key Objectives of the Interagency Final Rule and Modernized Community Reinvestment Act and Indian Country.
Are you looking for CRA opportunities in your Assessment Area? Check out our resources available to assist with your CRA activities, including Investment Connection at External LinkInvestment Connection - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (kansascityfed.org) that brings community and economic development organizations together with the funding community, along with a searchable database.