Washington, DC – Today, in response to the U.S Treasury Department’s report on the financial system, NCRC’s President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement:
“Obviously, we are disappointed by the Treasury report’s recommendations to repeal several key consumer protections.”
“These recommendations, if adopted, affect the structure and authorities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, eliminate data collection improvements to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), and repeal Section 1071. These changes recreate an unfair and reckless lending marketplace where vulnerable communities could not protect themselves by weakening legislation designed to ensure greater transparency in mortgage and small business lending for the regulators and the public. If adopted, it would be impossible for the public and regulatory agencies to know if low- and moderate income people are receiving responsible loans.”
“In addition, The Administration has also indicated that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) will be an area of high priority.”
“For 40 years, the CRA has been one of the most powerful incentives for the nation’s banks – private sector financial institutions – to make mortgages and small business loans to working class borrowers and investments in low- and moderate-income communities. NCRC has sought to strengthen CRA review and expand its’ reach to nonbanks. The CRA paves the way for working class Americans to get the credit and financial services needed to build wealth and start businesses. It continues to be a pillar for underserved communities’ access to investments from the nation’s banks.”
“One of the key reasons cited in the President’s budget for eliminating critical federal affordable housing programs and community development investments – programs also facing strict Congressional spending caps over the last several years— is that those types of investments were ‘best made locally and by the private sector.’ Regardless of what we think these cuts, it is important that this Administration understand CRA for the critical private sector tool it is.”
“NCRC, as well as our members from around the country, will be watching this CRA review closely. We will work with this Administration to ensure that CRA is not weakened, particularly at a time when the wealth gaps are widening and the federal investments in affordable housing and community development are shrinking. Poor and working-class families need access to homeownership, capital for small business start–ups, and community development investments. The Administration must ensure that underserved communities have equitable access to the nation’s financial system and that CRA is strengthened and not weakened.”
NCRC and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business development.