On June 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued guidelines to state nonmember banks aimed at helping consumers avoid reliance on high-cost borrowings, while enabling insured institutions to better serve an under-utilized market. The guidelines are intended to raise awareness and encourage financial institutions to offer small-dollar credit products that are affordable, provide better terms than those typically available to consumers (e.g., fee-based overdraft programs and payday lending), and establish long-term relationships with new customers.

Under the new guidelines, FDIC-supervised institutions that offer such products, structured in a responsible manner, may receive favorable consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act.

http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2007/pr07052a.html