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MONTH-IN-BRIEF (May 2021)

Banking Law

OCC to Reconsider CRA Final Rulemaking

By Devin P. Leary-Hanebrink, McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC

On May 18, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it will reconsider its June 2020 final rulemaking. The OCC has confirmed that, during this period, it will not object to banks suspending or postponing development and implementation of systems upgrades designed in anticipation of the final rule’s phased compliance dates of January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024. However, the OCC will continue to implement the provisions that had an October 1, 2020, compliance date, which were explained in detail in OCC Bulletin 2020-99. In addition, the OCC does not plan to finalize its December 4, 2020, proposed rule requesting comment on proposals for determining new benchmarks, test thresholds, and community development minimums under the June 2020 final rule.

The June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) final rulemaking, published under the guidance of the previous Administration, had an October 1, 2020, effective date, with a phased compliance timeline of October 1, 2020; January 1, 2023; and January 1, 2024. The intent of the 100-page final rule was to “strengthen and modernize the CRA by: (i) clarifying and expanding the activities that qualify for CRA credit; (ii) updating where activities count for CRA credit; (iii) creating a more consistent and objective method for evaluating CRA performance; and (iv) providing for more timely and transparent CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting.” (see 85 Fed. Reg. 34734).

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