Community Development Innovation Review

March 2011

Why Latin America Urgently Needs CRA, and Why CRA Won’t Work for Latin America


When I speak of a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for Latin America, I mean a mechanism that monitors and makes bank activities public. Thanks to CRA, we know where banks lend, to whom they lend (by income, race, ethnicity,and gender), and to what degree these customers reflect the profiles of the banks’ depositors. We can detect discriminatory policies toward the poor in both lending and deposits. The CRA has also created incentives for banks and other financial institutions to increase their presence in and their services to low-income neighborhoods.

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Other articles in this issue

Global Agricultural Value Chains: Sustainable Growth as a Means for Sustainable Development

International Housing Partnership Exchange

Catalyzing American Retail Investment in Community Development Finance: What Can We Learn from Other SRI Success Stories?

Unlocking Local Capital for Development: Shared Interest’s Guarantee Fund for South Africa

Translating Plain English: Can the Peterborough Social Impact Bond Construct Apply Stateside?

Learning Social Metrics from International Development

The Latest Frontiers for Financial Inclusion: Using Mobile Phones to Reach the Unbanked

CRA Goes Global: A Good Idea in the United States Could Use a Makeover and a Bigger Audience

Using the Framework of the Community Reinvestment Act to Support Rural Communities in China