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Bank branches are still essential for small business communities

Bank branches matter. Countering the overwhelming messaging from many banks and even some regulators, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has published several reports over the years that detail how much branches still matter for consumers and communities, even in 2019. Just look at the number of branches that banks opened in the last year, and it is clear that they also know the value of a physical outpost in the community they want to serve.

The importance of CRA assessment areas and bank branches

In 1977, Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and required federal bank agencies to assess the record of banks in meeting needs for credit and banking services in communities in which banks are chartered. The federal bank agencies responded by creating CRA examinations that assessed banks’ performance in geographical areas containing bank branches and …

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