American Banker, June 19, 2018: Before modernizing CRA, consider its history
In this case, ahistorical arguments that dominate the CRA debate could potentially obliterate the law by disregarding its racial history and calling into question its intent to protect financial consumers — namely depositors — from discriminatory lending.
Efforts to dissociate CRA from its anti-discrimination and consumer protection contexts are Orwellian in nature. These efforts are largely premised on the idea that CRA is “colorblind,” devoid of a racial context and more about consumer access than it is about fairness.
For example, a recent Treasury report argued that “CRA is not a consumer protection law” and laid out narrow circumstances where the two regimes may relate, dependent on the discretion of regulators rather than the intent of Congress.