An OCC and FDIC proposal to amend the Community Reinvestment Act ("CRA") - a law requiring that insured depository institutions help meet community credit needs - was published in the Federal Register. Comments must be submitted by March 9, 2020.

As previously covered, the proposed amendments to the CRA would encourage banks to provide more CRA-qualified lending, investment and services by making the framework more "objective, transparent, consistent and easy to understand." Specifically, the proposal:

  • clarifies and expands which activities qualify for CRA credit;

  • creates additional "assessment areas" related to where deposits originate in order to expand which CRA activity counts toward CRA credit;

  • establishes activity thresholds as a percentage of domestic deposits to more objectively measure CRA performance;

  • increases the transparency, consistency and timeliness of CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping and reporting; and

  • allows small banks - those with $500 million or less in total assets - to either continue evaluation under the CRA small bank test or opt in to the new general performance standards.