HOPE Statement on Proposed Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act
September 23rd, 2020
JACKSON, MS – The Federal Reserve on Monday, Sept. 21, announced proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law passed in 1977 to ensure banks adequately serve the communities in which they do business. Public comment on the proposed rule will be open for 120 days. The Federal Reserve is one of three agencies with rulemaking power for the CRA. Historically, the federal banking regulators have issued joint CRA regulations. However, earlier this year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized its own rule in May, which HOPE opposed, along with other partners serving Deep South communities. The FDIC also has a proposal under consideration, but has not issued an updated final rule at this time.
Statement by William J. Bynum, CEO of HOPE
“The Federal Reserve’s proposal is a welcome opportunity to strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act. Importantly, the Federal Reserve in its proposal acknowledges the CRA’s importance as a tool to address ‘persistent systemic inequities in the financial system’ for low-income people and people of color. The CRA is critical to HOPE’s work in mitigating the racial, economic and rural dynamics that have systemically limited access to fair and responsible financial services in the Deep South. While the OCC’s CRA rulemaking earlier this year will jeopardize many of the aspects of the CRA that benefit Deep South communities the most, we are encouraged by the Federal Reserve’s emphasis on financial inclusion and transparency in their proposal. We look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal and providing feedback to the Federal Reserve as they consider a final rule with the potential to strengthen CRA.”
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.