Proposed Low-Income Lending Overhaul Expected Next Month - ABI

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is gearing up to propose the first overhaul of a landmark anti-redlining law in decades, a plan expected to broaden the definition of the communities a bank serves in the digital age and to create new ways to measure lenders' compliance, Politico reported. The OCC plans to release its proposed rule on the Community Reinvestment Act on Dec. 13, though it could come a day earlier if the FDIC signs on at a board meeting, according to people familiar with the matter. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said last week that she would likely agree to the proposal this week. Both banks and community groups have long called for modernizing the CRA, a 1977 law that was written decades before the advent of digital banking. The law, aimed at combating redlining, or racial bias in lending, requires banks to meet the needs of local communities where their branches are based, including low- and moderate-income borrowers. Comptroller Joseph Otting said that it is his aim to “encourage banks to do billions more in lending and investment in communities that desperately need more capital and economic opportunity.” But some consumer groups worry that the end result will instead be to dilute the process so that banks can receive credit without doing much to help the law’s intended beneficiaries. ABI

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