Industry News

Banks get final guidance on Community Reinvestment

Agencies to extend consideration periods in Gulf Coast disaster areas

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The federal banking agencies today announced final guidance implementing the recent changes to their Community Reinvestment Act regulations. The guidance clarifies, among other things, the availability of CRA consideration for bank activities that revitalize or stabilize designated disaster areas. The guidance indicates that a bank's loans, investments and services in support of disaster recovery that help to attract new, or retain existing, businesses or residents to a designated disaster area will receive CRA "community development" consideration for a 36-month period following designation of the area. The guidance allows for extensions of this period in unusual cases, and the agencies plan to substantially extend the time periods in the Gulf Coast areas hit by hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The guidance also addresses the availability of CRA "community development" consideration for bank activities that revitalize or stabilize underserved or distressed middle-income rural areas. The...