The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are the federal agencies that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). These agencies also provide guidance to agency personnel, financial institutions and the public in the form of written guidance called “Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment.”
On September 8, 2014, the agencies published a a notice of and request for comments on revised Questions and Answers that provide additional guidance regarding several aspects of the CRA, including a discussion of the factors that contribute to community and economic development and examples of community development loans. One factor would consider a “size and purpose” test with a presumption that loans to certain entities (e.g., Small Business Development Company, Small Business Investment Company, Rural Business Investment Company, New Markets Venture Capital Company or a New Markets Community Development Entity) meet the test. Another would add renewable energy and energy efficient technologies as eligible activities for a community development loan, citing the role renewable energy and energy efficiencies play in the affordability of rental housing, in reducing the cost of providing services and in creating jobs. New questions and answers addressing community development services and the responsiveness and innovativeness of financial institutions are also proposed.
Comments on the proposed revisions to the Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment will be due sixty (60) days after publication of the Federal Register notice.