News Release 2019-95 | August 21, 2019

Comptroller of the Currency Visits New York Neighborhoods Supported by the Community Reinvestment Act, Discusses Opportunities to Do More

WASHINGTON — Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting today participated in a tour of New York neighborhoods to see firsthand the success of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activity and discuss how CRA regulations can promote more lending, investment, and services, where they are needed most.

“Here in New York, we saw great examples of community and bank partnerships to conduct CRA activity that helps meet important needs of underserved neighborhoods,” Comptroller Otting said following the tour. “We also discussed challenges communities, advocates, and bankers face in lending, investing, and providing services that can be addressed in part by modernizing CRA regulations.”

More than 50 community advocates, community development professionals, civil rights organizations, and bankers joined the Comptroller and senior staff from the agency on the agency’s third tour this summer of CRA neighborhoods and discussion on CRA modernization following each tour.

“We’re pleased to have this opportunity to show Comptroller Otting the impact of the CRA on the work of ANHD members, who include mission-driven developers, neighborhood-based organizations, and community organizers,” said Jaime Weisberg, senior campaign analyst for the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development. “It is important that the bank regulatory agencies understand the real life impact their policies have on our communities. We hope this tour makes clear why the CRA must be preserved and strengthened to increase access to safe, affordable housing; quality jobs; and access to banking for consumers and small businesses.”

“I thank everyone who has participated on this and other tours for sharing their stories, ideas, and frustrations,” the Comptroller said. “I am encouraged by this discussion and the half dozen others we have had this summer with hundreds of stakeholders about CRA. The conversations confirm broad support for making CRA work better for everyone, for clarifying what activity counts for CRA, updating where it counts, evaluating CRA performance in a more transparent way, and making reporting more timely and transparent. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues at the other federal banking regulatory agencies to issue a rule that can encourage billions more in CRA activity each year.”

The Comptroller highlighted how CRA regulations could be improved in four basic ways: clarifying what counts for CRA credit, updating where activity qualifies, making evaluations of bank CRA performance more objective, and reporting results in a more timely and transparent manner. The Comptroller will continue to meet with stakeholders and visit areas throughout the country to see CRA success stories firsthand and hear directly how regulators can make CRA work better for everyone while fulfilling its statutory purpose more effectively.

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