Help Shape the Future of the Community Reinvestment Act

November 2, 2020

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Every community deserves the opportunity to thrive. Our economy depends on it. Unfortunately, systemic barriers to credit and financial services continue to hold many communities back. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) helps address this by encouraging banks to provide the investment, credit, and services that low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities need and deserve.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on how we can modernize the regulations that implement the CRA. Public comment on the proposal is now open—and it’s time to make your voice heard.

What is the Community Reinvestment Act?

Enacted by Congress in 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act is one of several landmark pieces of legislation that came out of the civil rights movement. Designed to address the practice of “redlining”—the systematic denial of credit and services to communities of color—the CRA encourages banks to support credit needs in the places they serve.

The three bank regulators—the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—conduct periodic examinations to evaluate a bank’s performance under the CRA. And these performance ratings are taken into consideration when a bank applies for an expansion or new services.

“The CRA is a seminal piece of legislation that remains as important as ever as the nation confronts challenges associated with racial equity and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard in her September 21 speech at the Urban Institute. “We must ensure that CRA continues to be a strong and effective tool to address systemic inequities in access to credit and financial services for LMI and minority individuals and communities.” 

The Federal Reserve Needs Your Input

To ensure that the final proposal for modernizing the CRA meets community needs, the Board is seeking public comment on all aspects of the ANPR through February 16, 2021. 

“Policymaking works best when it reflects the needs and views of the people it serves,” said Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary C. Daly. “Modernizing the CRA is critical to our mission and will help ensure that every American has access to the financial system. “

Want to learn more about the CRA and the ANPR?

Ready to make your voice heard?

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The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.