News Release 2021-75 | July 15, 2021
OCC Marks the First Anniversary of Project Reach
WASHINGTON—Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu today marked the first anniversary of Project REACh by hosting participants to celebrate the project’s accomplishments and to challenge them to set their sights even higher over the next two years.
“Project REACh has generated a great deal of excitement and made great strides in its first year toward tearing down barriers that prevent everyone from benefitting from our economy and financial system,” said Acting Comptroller Hsu. “We are at a critical point in our nation where will and resolve match the need to act to reduce inequality. While Project REACh is one of many initiatives addressing the legacy problems facing our society, it is unique in that it assembles leaders of civil rights and community groups, banks, and technology firms to work hand in hand to solve problems previously seen as intractable.”
REACh stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change, and the project brings together a range of leaders to reduce specific barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation’s economy. The project launched July 10, 2020, and began by focusing on reducing the number of credit invisibles, improving access to affordable housing, promoting the strength of minority banks, and expanding access to capital and credit for minority-owned small businesses.
“The first year of Project REACh has been a great start,” Mr. Hsu said. “The time is right to aim higher. Project REACh can be transformative, helping to reverse the harmful effects of economic inequality.” Mr. Hsu challenged the workstream leads to devise “moonshot” goals for the next two years of Project REACh—goals to motivate and inspire action and outcomes that underserved communities will be able to feel and that will make a difference.
As part of the anniversary, Acting Comptroller Hsu also announced the expansion of regional efforts to replicate the success of the project’s national workstream. While the first regional effort centered on Los Angeles, the Acting Comptroller announced efforts will begin soon in Washington, D.C.; Dallas; and Detroit.
“While we share some problems across the nation, every community differs and requires local insight and participation to make a lasting difference,” Mr. Hsu said. “That’s why regional REACh efforts are so important.”
To help mark the anniversary, the agency published material providing greater detail regarding the work accomplished over the last 12 months.