On Feb. 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the “Agencies”) announced an extension of the public comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Agencies announced they are extending the public comment deadline to April 8, 2020.

The Agencies previously released proposed regulations on Dec. 12, 2019, seeking to make comprehensive changes to the CRA regulatory framework. The purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure the CRA remains an effective and efficient tool for encouraging banks to serve the needs of their communities. The proposed rule seeks to amend the CRA in four key areas: (1) clarifying the type of activities that would qualify for CRA credit; (2) expanding the type of activities and the location of the activities that would count toward CRA obligations; (3) establishing an objective standard to evaluate a bank’s CRA performance; and (4) revising data collection, recordkeeping and reporting of CRA activities.

The initial comment period on the NPRM was set to close on March 9, 2020. However, the Agencies received written requests asking to extend the comment period. After finding that an extension of the comment period would provide the public an additional opportunity to prepare comments to address the matters raised by the NPRM, the Agencies concluded it was appropriate to grant a 30-day extension of the NPRM comment period to April 8, 2020.

The CRA has not been substantially updated since the 1990s. The extension of the comment period offers banks and other CRA stakeholders a keen opportunity to modernize the current regulatory framework.