OCC: Bulletin on Final Rule to Rescind and Replace CRA Rule Issued in 2020 Released

On December 14, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a final rule to rescind the June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule and replace it with a rule based on the rules adopted jointly by the federal banking agencies in 1995, as amended. The final rule aligns the OCC’s CRA rules with the current Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation rules and thereby facilitates the ongoing interagency work to modernize the CRA regulatory framework and create consistency for all insured depository institutions.

The final rule takes effect on January 1, 2022, with a separate compliance date of April 1, 2022, for the rule’s public file and public notice requirements.1

Note for Community Banks

The final rule applies to national banks and federal and state savings associations, including community banks, covered by the CRA.

Highlights

Many aspects of the OCC’s June 2020 CRA rule have not yet been implemented because of the delayed compliance dates for some of the rule’s more material components (i.e., national banks and savings associations (banks)2 have remained subject to the 1995 rules in many respects). Therefore, the OCC anticipates that the final rule will have a limited impact on banks. The final rule also has transition provisions intended to ease burdens associated with it. Specifically

  • the OCC will provide newly designated large banks (banks that were small banks before the June 2020 CRA rule but are large banks under the final rule)3with one year to comply with the final rule’s data collection, record-keeping, and reporting requirements;
  • with respect to the qualifying activities criteria or retail or community development definitions, banks will receive consideration in their CRA examinations for activities in effect at the time the banks conducted the activities or entered into legally binding commitments to conduct the activities, including under the June 2020 rule;
  • bank strategic plans approved before January 1, 2022, remain in effect except for any provisions that are inconsistent with the final rule; and
  • banks are not required to comply with the final rule’s public file and public notice provisions until April 1, 2022.

Further, the OCC will afford implementation flexibility to national banks and federal savings associations to the extent permitted by the final rule and related CRA guidance (for example, the Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment) , including through the application of performance context.

Further Information

Please contact Emily Boyes, Counsel, Chief Counsel’s Office, at (202) 649-5490; Vonda Eanes, Director for CRA and Fair Lending Policy; or Karen Bellesi, Director for Community Development, Bank Supervision Policy, at (202) 649-5470.

Benjamin W. McDonough
Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel

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