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NCRC Welcomes OCC Final Rule to Rescind its Disastrous 2020 CRA Rule

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released a final rule that rescinds the agency’s harmful 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule, which weakened the OCC’s performance review of banks and restricted public involvement. The OCC replaced the 2020 rule with amended rules jointly adopted by the three federal banking agencies in 1995

Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made the following statement:

“Getting the disastrous 2020 CRA rule fully rescinded was a hard-fought battle that involved comments from hundreds of our members across the nation and this is a huge victory for them and their communities. We’re relieved and welcome this action today from the OCC. 

“Now, it’s time to move forward to create a stronger and modernized CRA that will produce greater access to financial services, lending and investments in low- and moderate-income communities, and specifically for people and communities of color. That needs to come jointly through new interagency rules from all three federal banking agencies and I’m encouraged by signs that the OCC, FDIC and Federal Reserve Board are working toward that. 

“A modernized CRA needs to be applied across the financial industry. So much has changed  since CRA was created in 1977, including the emergence of online lending and the rise of nonbanks that now make the majority of mortgage loans. All lenders, not just banks, should be accountable and obligated to serve and strengthen low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color. The rules themselves need to be strengthened to produce better results, and regulators need to strengthen their enforcement. There’s still a long way to go to fulfill the transformational objectives of the Community Reinvestment Act.

“It’s also long past time to update CRA to include a robust consideration of race. CRA was established to combat and reverse the overtly racist outcomes of redlining that defined access to homeownership and personal wealth in the 20th Century. Those outcomes have endured in this century in lower homeownership rates for people of color, in disinvestment and health risks in formerly redlined communities, and in a racial wealth gap that needs to be solved, not just studied and discussed.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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