The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted by Congress in 1977 and is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking operations. The CRA is at the heart of many partnerships between financial institutions and community development organizations. The regulation was revised substantially in 1995 and reviewed in 2002. It underwent a number of significant rule changes in 2005.
The CRA requires that each insured depository institution's record in helping meet the credit needs of its entire community be evaluated periodically. That record is taken into account in considering an institution's application for deposit facilities, including mergers and acquisitions. CRA examinations are conducted by the federal agencies that are responsible for supervising depository institutions: the Federal Reserve System (FRS), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Each of these sites includes the examination schedules and performance ratings for the institutions supervised by that regulator.
Interagency information about the CRA is available from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).