On August 19, OFN’s President and CEO Lisa Mensah and Vice President of Public Policy Dafina Williams participated in a community development tour in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)The tour, which highlighted Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) success stories, showcased affordable housing financed by nonprofit developer MANNA as well as Thamee, a restaurant financed by Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), a CDFI led by OFN Board Member Marla Bilonick.  

The D.C. tour, led by Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, was one of several organized by the OCC in recent monthsSimilar tours were conducted in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Albuquerque, NM. Also in attendance were CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris, representatives from OFN Member LISC, as well as leaders from national banks regulated by the OCC, and other community stakeholders.  

Following the tour, Comptroller Otting and senior staff at the OCC facilitated a roundtable discussion to discuss opportunities to bring more investment, lending, and services to underserved areas and to solicit feedback on some of the potential changes the OCC is considering as part of efforts to modernize CRA.  

The OCC’s outreach is part of a multistage rulemaking process that the OCC began in September 2018 to modernize the CRA regulatory framework. The OCC along with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have been reviewing feedback received from more than 1,500 commenters during last year’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Process, including comments from OFN.  

Comptroller Otting has indicated that the next step in the process, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR), could be released for public comment in the coming weeks, even as the OCC continues to negotiate with the Federal Reserve and FDIC on how to move forward with an interagency overhaul of CRA.  

OFN is closely monitoring the CRA modernization efforts and will continue to advocate for policy recommendations that ensure CDFIs remain strong partners for banks to increase the flow of credit and capital in communities where it is needed most. For more information about OFN’s CRA advocacy, please contact OFN’s Chief External Affairs Officer, Jennifer A. Vasiloff at jvasiloff@ofn.org.

 

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