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Hope Policy Institute Statement on OCC changes to Community Reinvestment Act

May 21st, 2020

JACKSON, MS – Yesterday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced sweeping changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law passed in 1977 to ensure banks adequately serve the communities in which they do business.  As part of the OCC’s rulemaking process, they received over 7,500 public comments on the proposed changes.  Yesterday’s rule announcement comes six weeks following the end of the public comment period.  HOPE submitted a comment opposing the proposed rule changes, along with other partners serving Deep South communities, including rural communities and communities of color.  Historically, the federal banking regulators have issued joint CRA regulations; however, neither the Federal Reserve nor the FDIC joined the OCC in in the issuance of yesterday’s final rule.

Statement by Diane Standaert, Director of Hope Policy Institute:

“The OCC’s overhaul of the Community Reinvestment Act will move this tool for incentivizing bank investment in distressed communities further out of reach of the most financially distressed places in the Deep South, ultimately widening existing racial and economic inequality.  COVID-19 has laid bare the challenges of many people accessing the financial services they need. During this pandemic, this has meant heightened challenges in getting quick access to stimulus checks and small businesses locked out of federal relief programs when bypassed by large national banks that prioritized existing relationships. It is disappointing that the OCC chose to issue new CRA rules that will exacerbate these challenges rather than alleviate them.”

HOPE’s Comment to the OCC Opposing Proposed CRA Changes

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About Hope Policy Institute 

HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.5 billion in financing that has benefitted more than 1.5 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

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