Advocacy, Coalitions, Community Benefits

The Community Reinvestment Act was a landmark civil rights law passed in 1977 to end discrimination that was once common in America’s banking and housing markets. NCRC leads campaigns, community coalitions, advocacy with federal policy makers and negotiations with lenders to fulfill their obligations under the law.

Our #TreasureCRA campaign seeks to strengthen and modernize it.

Since 2016, banks have pledged more than $84 billion in lending and philanthropy through community benefits agreements negotiated with NCRC. We also serve as watchdogs, analyzing essential data to identify misbehaving financial institutions in our member communities.

Completed CBAs

What is the CRA?
The CRA is a law that requires banks to serve the credit needs of communities where they take deposits, including low- and moderate-income communities. The law was passed in 1977 to reverse redlining patterns, and promotes neighborhood revitalization. CRA makes wealth building more accessible by creating access to responsible home ownership opportunities, basic banking services, and capital for small businesses. The CRA also calls on banks to support affordable housing, small business development, social services and neighborhood stabilization in low- and moderate-income communities. Since its inception, advocates such as NCRC, have used the CRA to secure trillions of reinvestment dollars for underserved communities.

Click here for a manual on the CRA and here to learn more about the CRA’s widespread benefits.

Community Reinvestment Summits
NCRC hosts community reinvestment summits where stakeholders get together to discuss the most important issues facing their community and how to productively address them through working in coalitions. We have recently convened summits in OregonOhio, Delaware, Maryland, and Louisiana.

How can you use the CRA?
NCRC offers crucial support to our members on how to use the CRA. NCRC provides research on bank behavior in your community, strategic consulting on how to approach banks, and other assistance to our members that increases their power to create positive outcomes for the neighborhoods they serve. We have brought hundreds of community groups into community benefits agreements with financial institutions.

Please contact NCRC for more information and to learn about the benefits of NCRC membership.

Policy Work
NCRC also works with legislators and regulators to strengthen the CRA, so that underserved communities have greater access to credit and capital.

Recent news on CRA:

Do CRA Ratings Reflect Differences in Performance: An Examination Using Federal Reserve Data

Key Findings Better outcomes on the retail lending test usually corresponded to higher ratings but the differences in performance were not as wide as expected Performance measures used to assess community loans and investments tended to indicate greater differences in bank performance across ratings categories This paper suggests the need for refining performance measures and … Do CRA Ratings Reflect Differences in Performance: An Examination Using Federal Reserve Data Read More » ...

NCRC Comment Letter on Monzo’s Charter Application

(Download) May 21, 2019 RE: NCRC Comment Letter on Monzo’s Charter Application To Whom it May Concern: The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) maintains that Monzo’s charter application has not demonstrated a significant commitment to meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served as required by the Community Reinvestment Act and the … NCRC Comment Letter on Monzo’s Charter Application Read More » ...

Joint Statement On CRA Rule Changes From OCC

A group of 18 civil rights, consumer protection and industry leaders issued the following joint statement: Today, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced long-anticipated changes to rules that enforce the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Federal Reserve Board decided not to join the proposed rule and has offered alternative approaches. The … Joint Statement On CRA Rule Changes From OCC Read More » ...

Summary Fact Sheet on the OCC’s Final CRA Rule

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) final Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule released on May 20 would lessen the public accountability of banks to their communities by enacting performance measures on CRA exams that would be complex and opaque while at the same time over-simplifying how to measure bank’s responsiveness to local needs. ...

Community Orgs to Trump Administration on CRA Rule: “We’ll See You In Court”

The National Community Reinstatement Coalition (NCRC), the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and legal oversight group Democracy Forward announced today they intend to sue the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for unlawfully gutting the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). ...

OCC Announces Final CRA Rule Changes, Moves Alone, Without FDIC or Federal Reserve

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced long-anticipated changes to rules that enforce the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) had previously joined the OCC in the rule-making effort, but it did not join in the final rule released today. ...

Senate Banking Committee Highlights CRA in Oversight Hearing of Federal Banking Regulators

Members of the Senate Banking Committee today questioned why, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, bank regulators are moving forward with proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that would cripple COVID-19 recovery efforts in low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color. ...

NCRC Urges Senate Committee to Pressure OCC, FDIC to Drop Proposed Changes to CRA

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is scheduled to conduct a virtual hearing on the oversight of financial regulators, with testimony from Office of the Comptroller of Currency’s (OCC) Comptroller Joseph Otting and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams. ...