Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, led a tour of Washington, D.C., areas that have benefitted from Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activity and discussed how CRA regulations can be strengthened to promote more lending, investment, and services, where they are needed most.
“CRA has help stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods across our country for more than 40 years,” Comptroller Otting said following the tour. “Today, we had the opportunity to see some of those reinvestment success stories here in our nation’s capital and continued the discussion of how important it is to modernize CRA regulation to bring even more lending, investment, and services to underserved, low- and moderate-income communities.”
The Comptroller was joined by more than 50 community advocates, community development professionals, and bankers engaged in CRA activity in the district. The tour was supported by MANNA and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), which shared information about their work supporting the D.C. communities.
“LEDC is pleased to have had the opportunity to showcase our small business clients who are contributing to the local economy and creating jobs in their communities,” said LEDC Executive Director Marla Bilonick. “CRA is critical to channeling bank funds through local CDFIs to business owners who are unable to access financing through traditional commercial channels. We are grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate the importance of CRA. We hope these real-life examples can positively influence changes to CRA that could result in driving even greater levels of bank funding into the launch, stabilization, and expansion of our local small businesses.”
“I am excited to be on the tour with Comptroller Otting, and others, to showcase some of the affordable housing Manna, Inc. has developed as a result, in part, due to the Community Reinvestment Act,” said Jim Dickerson, Founder and CEO of Manna, Inc. “I hope the tour will show the importance of strengthening and expanding the CRA so more much-needed affordable housing will be the result.”
“As the Comptroller, I support a strong CRA and believe we can do more for our underserved communities by 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 said. “These changes have the potential to encourage billions more in CRA activity each year.”
The OCC continues to work with other federal banking regulators to develop a modern CRA regulatory framework. The Comptroller will continue to meet with stakeholders and visit areas throughout the country to see CRA success stories first-hand and hear directly how regulators can make CRA work better for everyone while fulfilling its statutory purpose more effectively.