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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • FFIEC Updates CRA Data Entry Software and HMDA Data Filing Method

    Federal Issues

    On December 19, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) posted the 2017 version of its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Data Entry Software. This software—which is intended to help automate the filing of CRA data—is year-specific, i.e., 2016 reporting requires the 2016 version, not the 2017 version. In November, the FFIEC clarified that it was discontinuing its HMDA Data Entry Software and instead requiring that filers submit HMDA data collected in 2017 using a web interface called the “HMDA Platform.”

    Federal Issues Mortgages CRA FFIEC HMDA

  • OCC Issues Q1 2017 CRA Evaluation Schedule

    Federal Issues

    On December 2, the OCC posted its schedule of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations to be conducted in the first quarter of 2017. In a press release accompanying the 2017 schedule, the OCC encouraged public comment on the national banks and federal savings associations scheduled to be evaluated, and suggested that “comments be submitted to the institutions themselves at the mailing addresses listed on the schedule, or to the appropriate OCC supervisory office prior to—or as early as possible during—the month in which the evaluation is scheduled.” The OCC will consider all public comments received prior to the close of the CRA evaluation.

    Federal Issues Banking OCC CRA Bank Supervision

  • New Edition of Consumer Compliance Outlook Published by Philadelphia Fed

    Consumer Finance

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has posted the latest edition of Consumer Compliance Outlook. This edition features articles on subpart B of Regulation E on Remittance Transfers and the updated interagency questions and answers regarding Community Reinvestment.

    Consumer Finance Federal Reserve CRA Miscellany Regulation E

  • Community Groups Submit Letter to OCC on Potential FinTech Charter

    Consumer Finance

    On October 25, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and community groups across the country sent a letter to the OCC explaining that they strongly oppose the consideration of a limited-purpose fintech charter by the bank regulator. The groups explained that they would consider supporting the limited-purpose chartering of a fintech firm "only if the OCC does not preempt strong state law and establishes vigorous supervision and regulation for the newly chartered institutions." Additionally, the groups want chartered fintech firms to be subject to "rigorous Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-like obligations" and "stringent" safety and soundness reviews. The letter argues that “new charter and receivership authority for uninsured institutions, primarily financial technology companies (fintechs), has the potential to benefit consumers and communities,” but only if accompanied by CRA-like obligations, and supervision and examination to ensure compliance with both fair lending and consumer protection laws.

    Consumer Finance Digital Commerce OCC CRA Miscellany Fintech

  • Federal Banking Agencies Disclose Reported 2015 CRA Lending Data

    Consumer Finance

    On August 18, the OCC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve announced the availability of a 2015 data fact sheet on small business, small farm, and community development lending as reported by certain commercial banks and savings associations pursuant to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Less comprehensive than the data reported pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the CRA data includes the number and dollar amount of community development loans and small business and small farm loans originated or purchased. It also indicates whether a small business or farm loan is extended to a borrower with yearly revenues of $1 million or less and combines those loans into three categories based on size, which are reported at a census tract level. CRA data does not cover loan applications that were denied or applicant demographic information, and it is not completed on a loan-by-loan basis. According to the data fact sheet, “caution should be used in drawing conclusions from analyses using only CRA data, as differences in loan volume across areas may reflect differences in local demand for credit.”


  • Agencies Release CRA Asset-Size Threshold Adjustments

    Consumer Finance

    On December 22, the Federal Reserve, the OCC, and the FDIC jointly announced the adjusted thresholds for asset-size used to define small and intermediate small banks and savings associations under the Community Reinvestment Act. Effective January 1, 2016, a small bank or savings association will be defined as an institution that, as of December 31 of either of the past two calendar years, had assets of less than $1.216 billion. An intermediate small bank or intermediate small savings association will be defined as an institution with at least $304 million and less than $1.216 billion in assets as of December 31 of either of the past two calendar years. The agencies published the annual adjustments in the Federal Register on December 29, 2015.

    FDIC Federal Reserve OCC CRA

  • District Court Invalidates NYC Ordinance Making Banks Service Under-Served Areas as Requirement to Receive Municipal Deposits

    Consumer Finance

    On August 7, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) in a case challenging the City of New York’s Local Law 38, entitled the Responsible Banking Act (RBA). New York Bankers Ass’n, Inc. v. City of New York, No. 15-CV- 4001, 2015 WL 4726880 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 7, 2015). Passed in 2012, the RBA imposes various requirements on banks operating within New York City, including, as a prerequisite to receiving certain municipal deposits, requirements to document efforts to provide affordable housing, access to credit for small businesses, and other services. The court held that the RBA was preempted both by (i) federal law (including the National Bank Act, the Community Reinvestment Act, and OCC regulations) because, among other reasons, the RBA “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress”; and (ii) New York state law, because the New York Banking Law “evinces an intent to preempt the field of regulating state-chartered banks.” Thus, the RBA was “void in its entirety.”


  • SEC Issues Report on Examination Findings of Credit Rating Agencies

    Federal Issues

    On December 23, the SEC released its annual staff report on the findings of examinations of credit rating agencies registered as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs). As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC must examine each NRSRO at least once per year and provide a report summarizing its findings. As a result of the examinations, the staff recommended NRSROs improve a number of areas, including (i) the use of affiliates or third-party contractors in the credit rating process, (ii) management of conflicts of interest related to the rating business operations, and (iii) adherence to policies and procedures for determining or reviewing credit ratings. In addition, the agency issued a separate report to Congress on the state of competition, transparency, and conflicts of interest among NRSROs.


  • Banking Agencies Issue Revised CRA Exam Procedures

    Consumer Finance

    On April 18, the OCC, FDIC, and Federal Reserve Board released revised Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination procedures applicable to institutions with total assets greater than $1.202 billion as of December 31 of either of the previous two calendar years. The procedures incorporate revisions to the CRA interagency questions and answers issued in November 2013. Those revisions generally were intended to: (i) clarify how the agencies consider community development activities that benefit a broader statewide or regional area that includes an institution’s assessment area; (ii) provide guidance related to CRA consideration of, and documentation associated with, investments in nationwide funds; (iii) clarify the consideration of certain community development services, such as service on a community development organization’s board of directors; (iv) address the treatment of loans or investments to organizations that, in turn, invest those funds and use only a portion of the income from their investment to support a community development purpose; and (v) clarify that community development lending performance is always a factor considered in a large institution’s lending test rating.

    FDIC Examination Federal Reserve OCC CRA Bank Supervision

  • Prudential Regulators Address Impact Of QM Lending On CRA Ratings


    On December 13, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, the OCC, and the NCUA issued an interagency statement to clarify safety and soundness expectations and CRA considerations in light of the CFPB’s ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage rule. The statement emphasizes that institutions may originate both QM and non-QM loans based on their business strategies and risk appetites and that residential mortgage loans “will not be subject to safety-and-soundness criticism based solely on their status as QMs or non-QMs.” Acknowledging that some institutions may choose to originate only or predominantly QM loans, the agencies state that, consistent with recent guidance concerning the fair lending implications of QM-only lending, “the agencies that conduct CRA evaluations do not anticipate that institutions’ decision[s] to originate only QMs, absent other factors, would adversely affect their CRA evaluations.”

    FDIC CFPB Federal Reserve OCC NCUA CRA Qualified Mortgage Agency Rule-Making & Guidance


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