FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 28, 2018
CONTACT: Carter Dougherty, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 251-6700
AFR Statement on OCC Plan for Community Reinvestment Act
The CRA was put in place to move banks to do a better job meeting community banking and credit needs, and the needs of low and moderate income communities in particular. When the country faces a terrible affordable housing squeeze, and most people have not come near to regaining the wealth they lost as a result of the financial crisis, it is more important than ever that CRA be an effective lever. The plan the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is advancing would undermine that goal.
What Comptroller Otting is suggesting seems directed at making life easier for banks and bankers, who are enjoying record profitability already, at the cost of making the CRA a much less powerful tool for meeting community needs. The OCC proposal would dramatically limit the CRA’s effectiveness by distilling the complexity of the different credit needs of varied American communities to one numerical ratio and quantitative benchmarks, and would reduce public participation in the process that is fundamental to moving banks towards greater responsiveness to the needs of diverse customers and communities.