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OCC BULLETIN 1996-11
To: Chief Executive Officers of all National Banks, Department and Division Heads, and all Examining Personnel

Description: Guidelines for Approval for a Strategic Plan & Wholesale or Limited Purpose Institution

As of January 6, 2012, this guidance applies to federal savings associations in addition to national banks.*

Purpose

This bulletin distributes guidelines on the revised Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulation adopted by the Comptroller of the Currency and the other banking regulatory agencies as published in the May 4, 1995, Federal Register. The first, "Guidelines for Requesting Designation as a Wholesale or Limited Purpose Institution for Purposes of the Community Reinvestment Act" explains how a national bank may request designation as a wholesale or limited purpose institution to have its CRA record evaluated under the community development test. The second, "Guidelines for Requesting Approval for a Strategic Plan Under the Community Reinvestment Act" describes how a national bank may request to be evaluated on the basis of a strategic plan.

Summary

The revised CRA regulation offers alternative assessment methods for evaluating an institution's CRA record.

Wholesale institutions engaged in only incidental retail lending and limited purpose institutions offering a narrow product line to a regional or broader market may ask to be assessed under the community development test. The test evaluates an institution's record of meeting the credit needs of its assessment area through community development lending, qualified investments, or community development services. An institution must first receive a designation as a wholesale or limited-purpose institution to be evaluated under the community development test. The "Guidelines for Requesting Designation as a Wholesale or Limited Purpose Institution for Purposes of the Community Reinvestment Act" are distributed to explain how to file a written request for such designation. The strategic plan evaluation option provides an institution with the opportunity to tailor its CRA objectives to the needs of its community and its own capacities, business strategies and expertise. The "Guidelines for Requesting Approval for a Strategic Plan Under the Community Reinvestment Act" should be used by institutions that want to submit a strategic plan or request approval of amendments to an existing strategic plan.

For further information, contact the Compliance Management Department at (202) 649-5470.

Stephen M. Cross
Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Management

*References in this guidance to national banks or banks generally should be read to include federal savings associations (FSA).  If statutes, regulations, or other OCC guidance is referenced herein, please consult those sources to determine applicability to FSAs.  If you have questions about how to apply this guidance, please contact your OCC supervisory office.

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