Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Questions and Answers for Bank Customers
- How can I comment on a bank's CRA performance?
- How can I find a bank's CRA evaluations?
- How can I find out if my bank is scheduled for a CRA examination?
- What are OCC's responsibilities under the CRA?
- Does the CRA apply to all depository institutions?
- How does OCC determine a CRA rating?
- What is included in a CRA performance evaluation?
- How often does the OCC conduct a CRA examination?
- Is OCC the only federal regulator for the CRA?
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency each quarter releases a list of national banks to be examined for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in the next calendar quarter. This announcement allows interested parties to file public comments about the banks' performance under the CRA. All public comments received before the close of the CRA examination will be considered by the OCC in its evaluation. Comments should be filed with the subject bank or with the appropriate OCC supervisory office.
You can search the CRA Database for a bank's CRA evaluations and ratings.
OCC publishes an advance notice of CRA evaluations coming due each quarter.
In accordance with safe and sound operations, OCC—
- Assesses a national bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods; and
- Considers that record in evaluating a bank's application for new branches, relocation of an existing branch, mergers and consolidations, and other corporate activities.
The CRA applies to depository institutions that carry FDIC deposit insurance.
The CRA does not apply to special purpose banks (12 CFR 25.11), such as bankers banks and banks that—
- Provide cash management controlled disbursement services, or
- Serve as correspondent banks, trust companies, or clearing agents 12 USC 24 (Seventh).
OCC evaluates a financial institution's activities under CRA based on information about—
- The institution: Its capacity, constraints, business strategies, competitors, and peers; and
- The community: Its demographic and economic data, and lending, investment, and service opportunities.
OCC uses a four-tiered rating system:
- Needs to Improve
- Substantial Noncompliance
Interstate banks receive an overall rating as well as an evaluation based on their CRA performance in each state and metropolitan statistical area in which they have branches.
The CRA performance evaluation (PE) generally includes a description of the institution and its assessment area(s); its CRA rating; and the facts, data, and analyses supporting the rating.
In general, the OCC conducts a CRA examination of a national bank every three years. There is an extended examination cycle for smaller banks as follows:
|CRA Rating||Aggregate Assets||Examination Period*|
|Outstanding||$250 million or less||No sooner than 60 months after the most recent examination|
|Satisfactory||$250 million or less||No sooner than 48 months after the most recent examination|
* Mandated by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
No. The OCC is the federal regulator for national banks and federal savings associations. The following agencies have regulatory responsibilities for other types of financial institutions.
Regulator for state-charted banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System
Regulator for insured state banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System