[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 120 (Wednesday, June 23, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 35686-35689]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-15114]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 23, 2010 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 35686]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

12 CFR Part 25

[Docket ID OCC-2010-0011]

FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

12 CFR Part 228

[Docket No. R-1386]

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION

12 CFR Part 345

RIN 3064-AD60

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of Thrift Supervision

12 CFR Part 563e

[Docket ID OTS-2010-0019]


Community Reinvestment Act Regulation Hearings

AGENCIES:  Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC); 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); Federal 
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Office of Thrift Supervision, 
Treasury (OTS).

ACTION: Public hearings; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The OCC, Board, FDIC, and OTS (collectively, ``the agencies'') 
will hold a series of joint public hearings in four cities across the 
country to receive public comments on the agencies' regulations 
governing procedures for assessing a financial institution's 
performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The purpose of 
the hearings is to seek a wide range of views on whether and how the 
agencies should revise their regulations to better serve the goals of 
the Community Reinvestment Act. The hearings will be held in: 
Arlington, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Los 
Angeles, California. The dates and details of how to request 
participation are provided below.

DATES: 
    Public Hearing Dates:
    1. July 19, 2010--Arlington, Virginia.
    2. August 6, 2010--Atlanta, Georgia.
    3. August 12, 2010--Chicago, Illinois.
    4. August 17, 2010--Los Angeles, California.
    Dates for Requests to Participate: Participants who wish to present 
testimony or to attend one or more hearings in person must register 
five business days in advance of the hearing date at http://www.ffiec.gov/cra/hearings.htm. Presenters are also strongly encouraged 
to provide their written testimony five business days in advance of the 
requested hearing date. The time available for presentations and the 
space in the meeting rooms is limited. Therefore, participants are 
encouraged to register early. Additional information is available on 
the registration Web site and below under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
    Date to Submit Written Comments: Written comments (other than 
testimony) may be provided to any agency as described below (under 
ADDRESSES) through August 31, 2010.

ADDRESSES: 
    Public Hearing Addresses:
    1. July 19, 2010--FDIC's L. William Seidman Center, 3501 Fairfax 
Drive, Arlington, VA 22201-2305.
    2. August 6, 2010--Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree 
Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30309.
    3. August 12, 2010--Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South La 
Salle Street, Chicago, IL 60614.
    4. August 17, 2010--Los Angeles Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank 
of San Francisco, 950 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
    Addresses to Submit Written Comments: Persons are invited and 
encouraged to submit written comments addressing their views on the CRA 
regulations, whether or not they plan to testify at the hearings. 
Written testimony to be delivered at the hearings should be provided 
five business days in advance to the agency coordinating that hearing 
location: Arlington: FDIC; Atlanta: Office of Thrift Supervision; 
Chicago: Federal Reserve Board; and Los Angeles: Comptroller of the 
Currency. Other comments may be submitted to any agency listed below.
    Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the agencies 
is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments by e-
mail or the appropriate agency Web site, if possible. Please use the 
title ``Community Reinvestment Act Regulation Hearings'' and Docket or 
RIN numbers to facilitate the organization and distribution of the 
comments.
    The agency addresses are as follows:
    OCC: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: regs.comments@occ.treas.gov.
     Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E 
Street, SW., Mail Stop 2-3, Washington, DC 20219.
     Fax: (202) 874-5274.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: 250 E Street, SW., Mail Stop 2-3, 
Washington, DC 20219.
    Instructions: You must include ``OCC'' as the agency name and 
``Docket ID OCC-2010-0011'' in your comment. In general, OCC will enter 
all comments received into the docket and publish them on the 
Regulations.gov Web site without change, including any business or 
personal information that you provide such as name and address 
information, e-mail addresses, or phone numbers. Comments received, 
including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the 
public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not enclose any 
information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider 
confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.
     Viewing Comments Electronically: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Select document type of ``Public Submissions,'' 
enter ``Docket ID OCC-2010-0011,'' click ``Search,'' under ``Agency'' 
heading check ``OCC,'' to view public comments.
     Viewing Comments Personally: You may personally inspect 
and photocopy comments at the OCC, 250 E Street, SW., Washington, DC. 
For security reasons, the OCC requires that visitors make an 
appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 874-
4700. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid 
government-issued photo identification and to submit to security 
screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.
     Docket: You may also view or request available background 
documents and project summaries using the methods described above.

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    Board: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1386, by 
any of the following methods:
     Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/Regs.cfm.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: regs.comments@federalreserve.gov. Include the 
docket number in the subject line of the message.
     FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.
     Mail: Address to Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary, Board of 
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20551.
    All public comments will be made available on the Board's Web site 
at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/Regs.cfm as 
submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your 
comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact 
information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in 
paper in Room MP-500 of the Board's Martin Building (20th and C 
Streets, NW.) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
    FDIC: You may submit comments identified by RIN 3064-AD60 by any of 
the following methods:
     Agency Web site: http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/notices.html. Follow instructions for submitting comments on 
the Agency Web site.
     E-mail: Comments@FDIC.gov. Include RIN  [see 
above] on the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Attention: 
Comments, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20429.
     Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand delivered to the guard 
station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F 
Street) on business days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
    Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted generally 
without change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/propose.html, including any personal information provided. Comments may 
be inspected and photocopied in the FDIC Public Information Center, 
3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m. (EST) on business days. Paper copies of public comments 
may be ordered from the Public Information Center by telephone at (877) 
275-3342 or (703) 562-2200.
    OTS: You may submit comments identified by OTS-2010-0019, by any of 
the following methods:
     E-mail: regs.comments@ots.treas.gov. Please include ID 
OTS-2010-0019 in the subject line of the message and include your name 
and telephone number in the message.
     Fax: (202) 906-6518.
     Mail: Regulation Comments, Chief Counsel's Office, Office 
of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552, 
Attention: OTS-2010-0019.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard's Desk, East Lobby Entrance, 
1700 G Street, NW., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on business days, Attention: 
Regulation Comments, Chief Counsel's Office, Attention: OTS-2010-0019.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. All comments received will be 
entered into the docket and posted on the Internet without change, 
including any personal information provided. Comments, including 
attachments and other supporting materials received are part of the 
public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not enclose any 
information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider 
confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.
    Viewing Comments Electronically: OTS will post comments on the OTS 
Internet Site at http://www.ots.treas.gov/?p=LawsRegulations.
    Viewing Comments On-Site: You may inspect comments at the Public 
Reading Room, 1700 G Street, NW., by appointment. To make an 
appointment for access, call (202) 906-5922, send an e-mail to 
public.info@ots.treas.gov">public.info@ots.treas.gov, or send a facsimile transmission to (202) 
906-6518. (Prior notice identifying the materials you will be 
requesting will assist us in serving you.) We schedule appointments on 
business days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In most cases, appointments 
will be available the next business day following the date we receive a 
request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    OCC (Los Angeles, CA hearing): Barry Wides, Deputy Comptroller for 
Community Affairs, Barry.Wides@occ.treas.gov, (202) 874-4930 or Gregory 
Nagel, Compliance Policy Specialist, Gregory.Nagel@occ.treas.gov, (202) 
874-0942, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20219.
    Board (Chicago, IL hearing): Joseph A. Firschein, Community Affairs 
Officer, Joseph.A.Firschein@frb.gov, (202) 736-5531 or Jamie Goodson, 
Attorney, Jamie.Z.Goodson@frb.gov, (202) 452-3667 or Catherine M. J. 
Gates, Senior Project Manager, Cathy.Gates@frb.gov (202) 452-2099.
    FDIC (Arlington, VA hearing): Janet Gordon, Senior Policy Analyst, 
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection, JaGordon@fdic.gov, 
(202) 898-3850 or Richard Schwartz, Counsel, Legal Division (202) 898-
7424, RiSchwartz@fdic.gov, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 
17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20429.
    OTS (Atlanta, GA hearing): Stephanie Caputo, Senior Compliance 
Program Analyst, Stephanie.Caputo@ots.treas.gov, (202) 906-6549, or 
Richard Bennett, Senior Compliance Counsel, 
Richard.Bennett@ots.treas.gov, (202) 906-7409, Office of Thrift 
Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) (12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.) is 
intended to encourage insured depository institutions to help meet the 
credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income 
neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operation of the 
institutions. The CRA requires each of the agencies to use its 
authority when examining financial institutions to encourage such 
institutions to help meet the credit needs of the local communities 
they are chartered to serve. The agencies are required to consider this 
record in evaluating an application for a charter, deposit insurance, 
branch or other deposit facility, office relocation, merger, or holding 
company acquisition of an insured depository institution. Detailed 
information on CRA regulations and Interagency Examination Procedures 
are available on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council 
(FFIEC) Web site at http://www.ffiec.gov/cra/default.htm.

Public Hearings

    The purpose of the public hearings is to receive public comments on 
the agencies' CRA regulations and to solicit views on whether and how 
the agencies should revise their CRA regulations to better serve the 
goals of the CRA. The agencies invite testimony (oral and written) on 
any issues regarding the

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CRA from any interested person.\1\ While the agencies recognize public 
comments may discuss matters requiring statutory changes, the agencies' 
focus is on potential regulatory changes.
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    \1\ These hearings do not fall under the Negotiated Rulemaking 
Act, 5 U.S.C. 561 et seq., or the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 
U.S.C. Appendix 2.
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    To participate in or attend the hearings in person, registration is 
required at http://www.ffiec.gov/cra/hearings.htm and must be completed 
at least five (5) business days before the hearing date. Individuals 
proposing to testify are also strongly encouraged to provide their 
written testimony at the time of registration. The time available for 
presentations and the space in the meeting rooms is limited. Depending 
on the number of requests, the agencies may not be able to accommodate 
all who desire to speak or attend. In that case, the agencies will 
establish a waiting list. By providing an email address and daytime 
telephone number, you will enable us to confirm your participation and 
arrange security clearance.
    The hearings will address the broad range of CRA issues listed 
below under Topics and Questions, as well as other CRA issues that may 
be suggested by participants. Individuals requesting to participate in 
the hearings should indicate to the agencies the primary topics they 
intend to cover. The agencies will organize panels of presenters who 
will have five minutes to make opening remarks. Representatives of the 
regulatory agencies will then ask questions of the panelists. In 
addition, there will be an opportunity for other participants to 
deliver oral statements of three minutes or less. While all of the 
topics will be open for discussion at all of the hearings, the agencies 
plan to organize panels that will include invited participants, to 
focus on particular topics in particular hearing locations. Panels are 
being considered in the hearing locations as noted below:
     Arlington: Community Development; Ratings and Incentives; 
Effect of Evidence of Discriminatory or Other Illegal Credit Practices 
on CRA Performance Evaluations.
     Atlanta: Access to Banking Services (focus on serving both 
unbanked and under-banked individuals and distressed and underserved 
areas; Revisions to CRA Performance Tests (focus on rural communities 
and small institutions).
     Chicago: Geographic Coverage; Affiliate Activities; 
Revisions to CRA Performance Tests.
     Los Angeles: Small Business and Consumer Lending; CRA Data 
Collection, Reporting and Disclosure, and Performance Evaluations.
    Oral presentations will be limited to the time available. Potential 
presenters are, therefore, strongly encouraged to make their written 
testimony available to the agencies five business days in advance of 
the hearing to provide additional information and help facilitate the 
question period. Hearing proceedings will be recorded.
    Details on the agendas of the specific hearings will be made 
available on the registration Web site. Confirmations will also be 
provided to the hearing presenters by email by an agency contact.

Written Comments

    As noted above, individuals are invited and encouraged to submit 
written comments addressing their views on the CRA regulation, whether 
or not they plan to participate in the hearings. Persons wishing to 
provide written comments (other than testimony) may submit them as 
provided above through August 31, 2010.

Topics and Questions

    The agencies are particularly interested in receiving hearing 
testimony and written comments on the following topics and questions:
    Geographic coverage. What are the best approaches to evaluating the 
geographic scope of depository institution lending, investment and/or 
deposit-taking activities under CRA? Should geographic scope differ for 
institutions that are traditional branch-based retail institutions 
compared to institutions with limited or no physical deposit-taking 
facilities? Should it differ for small local institutions compared to 
institutions with a nationwide customer base? If so, how? As the 
financial services industry continues to evolve and uses new 
technologies to serve customers, how should the agencies adapt their 
CRA evaluations of urban and rural communities?
    CRA performance tests, asset thresholds and designations. Should 
the agencies revise the criteria used to assess performance under the 
current CRA tests: Small institution; intermediate small institution; 
large institution; wholesale and limited purpose institution or 
strategic plan? Are the current asset thresholds that apply to 
institutions and tests appropriate?
    Affiliate activities. Currently, the agencies consider affiliate 
activities only at the request of the related depository institution. 
Should the agencies revise the regulation and, instead, require that 
examiners routinely consider activities by affiliates? If so, what 
affiliates or activities should be reviewed? How should consideration 
of affiliates affect the geographic coverage of CRA assessments?
    Small business and consumer lending evaluations and data. Should 
the agencies revise the evaluation of and/or data requirements for 
small business and small farm lending activities or for consumer 
lending activities, including activities or products designed to meet 
the needs of low- and moderate-income consumers? If so, what changes 
are needed?
    Access to banking services. How should access to financial services 
be considered under CRA? What changes would encourage financial 
institutions to expand access to un-banked and under-banked consumers 
in a safe and sound manner and to promote affordable, safe transaction 
and savings accounts? Should the agencies revise CRA to include 
additional regulatory incentives to provide access to services for 
historically underserved and distressed areas?
    Community development. What are the opportunities to better 
encourage community development loans, investments and services to 
support projects that have a significant impact on a neighborhood? 
Should the agencies consider revisions to the Community Development 
Test or to the definition of community development? How could the rules 
most effectively balance support for community development 
organizations of different sizes, varying geographic scope, and in 
diverse rural and urban communities? How might they balance incentives 
for meeting local needs as well as the needs of very distressed areas 
or those with emergency conditions?
    Ratings and incentives. Is there an opportunity to improve the 
rules governing CRA ratings to differentiate strong, mediocre, and 
inadequate CRA performance more consistently and effectively? Are there 
more effective measures to assess the qualitative elements of an 
institution's performance? Are there regulatory incentives that could 
be considered to encourage and recognize those institutions with 
superior CRA performance?
    Effect of evidence of discriminatory or other illegal credit 
practices on CRA Performance Evaluations. Currently, the agencies' 
evaluations of CRA performance are adversely affected by evidence of 
discriminatory or other illegal credit practices as outlined in the

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CRA rules. Are the existing standards adequate? Should the regulations 
require the agencies to consider violations of additional consumer 
laws, such as the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer 
Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act? Should the regulations be 
revised to more specifically address how evidence of unsafe and unsound 
lending practices adversely affects CRA ratings?
    CRA disclosures and Performance Evaluations. Should the agencies 
consider changes to data collection, reporting, and disclosure 
requirements, for example, on community development loans and 
investments? What changes to public Performance Evaluations would 
streamline the reports, simplify compliance, improve consistency and 
enhance clarity? Should the agencies consider changes to how 
Performance Evaluations incorporate information from community contacts 
or public comments?

    Dated: June 16, 2010.
John C. Dugan,
Comptroller of the Currency.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
System, acting through the Secretary of the Board under delegated 
authority, June 15, 2010.
Jennifer J. Johnson,
Secretary of the Board.

    Dated at Washington, DC, June 16, 2010.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Robert E. Feldman,
Executive Secretary.

    Dated: May 26, 2010.

    By the Office of Thrift Supervision.
John E. Bowman,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-15114 Filed 6-22-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6210-01-P, 6720-01-P, 6714-01-P, 4810-33-P