Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting today discussed community reinvestment and service during remarks at National Asian American Coalition’s (NAAC) 16th Annual Economic Development Conference.
During his comments, Comptroller Otting highlighted the importance of modernizing the regulatory framework implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
“Since 1977, the CRA has steered trillions of dollars in investment, lending, and services into communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,” Comptroller Otting said. “Today, we have the opportunity, the responsibility, to ensure CRA remains a relevant and vital tool for encouraging banks to meet the credits needs of their entire community for generations to come.”
While working with other federal banking agencies to develop proposed rule, the OCC has gathered extensive feedback and input from stakeholders of all kinds. The OCC reviewed results of previous outreach and studies recommending changes to the CRA regulations including the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act report issued by the agencies in 2017 and the findings and recommendations published by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in April 2018. After meeting with more than 1,000 community members, advocates, bankers, and other stakeholders, the OCC published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting public input in August 2018. The agency received approximately 1,500 comments which it shared with other federal regulators.
Considering all of that feedback as well as the summary of feedback published by the Federal Reserve in June 2019, the OCC conducted additional outreach this summer meeting with hundreds of stakeholders and visiting Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and several Pueblos of New Mexico to discuss where CRA succeeded and where it can be improved. The OCC continues to work with the other federal banking agencies to develop a joint proposal, which the Comptroller hopes to issue on an interagency basis this fall.
“My experiences this summer and the preponderance of feedback we have heard reemphasizes the opportunity we have to encourage more CRA activity where it is needed most by modernizing the rules to clarify what counts, update where CRA activity counts, evaluate CRA performance more objectively, and make reporting more timely and transparent.”
During the event, the Comptroller was honored by NAAC and the National Diversity Coalition with the inaugural Robert Gnaizda “Community Spirit Excellence Award” for his enduring commitment and work to support the diverse communities of California.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized with an award named for an icon in community service like Bob Gnaizda,” the Comptroller said. “Bob has been a community warrior who fought hard to bring capital to communities across the country for many years. His legacy truly embodies the theme of the year’s event, ‘Building the Dream.’ I hope our work to provide consumers, businesses, and communities greater economic opportunity contributes to his long-term vision of the future.”