Community Dividend

Regulators approve CRA strategic plans

The Federal Reserve Board has announced its approval of the first bank strategic plans submitted under the newly revised Community Reinvestment Act regulations.

Published April 1, 1997  | April 1997 issue

The Federal Reserve Board announced in late December that it approved the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) "strategic plan" of The Northern Trust Co., Chicago. In a similar action, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved the strategic plan submitted by the $149 million Swiss Avenue State Bank, Dallas.

These actions marked the first approvals of strategic plans by federal banking agencies under the newly revised CRA regulation. The option to submit a strategic CRA plan became available in January 1996, following a major overhaul of CRA regulations by the federal bank supervisory agencies.

This option allows an institution to develop a plan with community input, detailing how it proposes to meet its CRA obligations. The guidelines call for an institution to seek suggestions informally from the public while developing the plan. Once developed, the institution must publish notice and solicit written public comments for at least 30 days. After the comment period, the institution is then to submit the plan to its federal regulator for review and approval.

Northern Trust submitted its plan to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on November 1, 1996, at which time it was forwarded to the Board of Governors for simultaneous review. The Board then circulated the plan to the other federal banking agencies for their views, a move designed to ensure consistency under the new CRA regulation.

A copy of Northern Trust's strategic plan can be obtained by writing to Publications, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets, N.W., Washington, DC 20551. Swiss Avenue's plan can be obtained from the FDIC Public Information Center, 801 17th St., N.W., Room 100, Washington, DC 20434, (800) 276-6003 or (202) 416-6940.