Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting today issued the following statement thanking stakeholders for their comments on the proposal to strengthen and modernize the regulatory framework implementing the Community Reinvestment Act.
I want to thank all of the stakeholders who have submitted more than 7,400 thoughtful and helpful comments regarding the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposal to strengthen and modernize CRA regulations prior to yesterday’s deadline for providing comments. The end of the comment period is another important milestone in a decade-long process that has included nationwide listening sessions, a joint report to Congress from regulators that identified opportunities to improve CRA, recommendations from Treasury, a report of feedback gathered by the Federal Reserve, extensive stakeholder outreach, and another 1,500 comments to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in August 2018.
I have already read many of the comments and appreciate the thoughtfulness and support for updating regulations that have not changed significantly since 1995. We will begin reviewing those comments, which we will consider carefully in developing a final rule.
Over the last month, as the nation has managed its response to COVID-19, it has become even clearer to me that communities need even more access to lending, capital, and services during this difficult time. It is our intention to craft a final rule that will encourage banks to lend and invest more in the communities they serve, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. We seek to increase support to small businesses, small and family-owned farms, Indian country, and distressed areas. Modernizing CRA regulations as proposed in the NPR would require OCC-regulated banks to conduct and hold on their balance sheet $500 billion to meet minimum satisfactory requirements and up to a $1 trillion to meet outstanding requirements in CRA qualified investments and loans. Modernization would bring valuable additional resources to communities across America that are currently underserved by the current regime and provide greater transparency to help ensure those dollars serve the communities they were intended to help. We will work toward issuing a final rule during the first half of this year. Further delay would only prevent these valuable resources from reaching those who need them most in this time of national emergency.