A set of new Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rules from the three federal banking agencies (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) took effect on September 1.
The CRA, enacted in 1977, requires depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their communities. Federal regulators use a tiered approach based on asset size to evaluate banks' CRA compliance. The new rules are intended to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks while making CRA evaluations more effective in encouraging banks to meet community development needs. Specific provisions include increasing the asset-size limit for small banks from $250 million to $1 billion; modifying the reporting requirements and ratings criteria for "intermediate small banks," or those institutions with assets between $250 million and $1 billion; and expanding the definition of community development in order to encourage revitalization in rural areas.
For more information on the new CRA rules, visit www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2005.