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Groups Debate CRA Rule

Several community groups banded together and launched a web site designed specifically to fight the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's streamlined rules for Community Reinvestment Act examinations.

SaveCRA.org calls the rule changes "devastating for struggling urban and rural areas across America" and says the new processes are a threat to affordable housing and community investment. The site is supported by the National Community Capital Association, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the Low Income Investment Fund.

Meanwhile, the Independent Bankers Association of America has launched a push of its own designed to educate people about what the changes mean. The organization published "The Truth about CRA," which debunks six "myths" about the proposed CRA changes (www.icba.org/advocacy/index.cfm?ItemNumber=1775)

FDIC's comment period closed October 20 and over 7,000 letters have been received. The proposed rule changes the definition of "small bank" by raising the asset size threshold to $1 billion; adds a community development activity criterion to the streamlined evaluation method for small banks with assets between $250 million and $1 billion; and expands the definition of "community development" to encompass a broader range of activities in rural areas.

Copyright © 2004 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 14, No. 10, 12/04

First published on 12/01/2004

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