On May 20, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates national banks, released a Final Rule intended to strengthen and modernize the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq. (the CRA). The CRA was originally enacted in 1977 to reverse decades of financial “redlining” whereby banks were not servicing the needs of all, particularly communities of color, by encouraging banks to help meet the credit needs of all local communities it serves, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.1 The CRA requires federal banking agencies to assess a bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including LMI neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institution, and take such record into account in its evaluation of an application for a deposit facility by such institution.
112 U.S.C. §2901 (“It is the purpose of this chapter to require each appropriate Federal financial supervisory agency to use its authority when examining financial institutions, to encourage such institutions to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institutions.”).