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Materials Posted: CRA Investments in Rural Communities: Successful Uses

Materials Posted

Introduction | Presentation | Recording | Report

This webinar, the second in a series of three, will explore two successful rural development projects that earned CRA credit for the lenders involved. The discussion will include parties involved with a farmworker housing and a preschool project. In each case, the participants will briefly describe the CRA’s role in their project. The participants will also, in a discussion panel format, note challenges related to the CRA in rural communities and how these challenges can potentially be addressed to develop a successful project.

The CRA is implemented by the three federal bank regulators through periodic lender examinations of all Federally insured depository institutions. These CRA examinations vary in occurrence and detail based on lender asset size with small lenders being evaluated less frequently (usually, once every five years) and less thoroughly (one test area instead of the three applied to large banks). Upon completion of the examination, regulators’ award banks ratings based on their compliance with the CRA. Regulators can then use a poor rating to deny lender applications for such things as opening a new office or acquiring another bank.

In complying with the CRA requirements banks in turn need to ensure they make their services available to all parts of their service areas. In some cases this means providing assistance to local community development projects, through loans, grants, etc., for which they lender can earn credit as fulfilling their CRA obligation when they are evaluated. The degree to which this occurs in rural communities is limited and there is the potential for more.

This webinar, the second in a series of three, will explore two successful rural development projects that earned CRA credit for the lenders involved. The discussion will include parties involved with a farmworker housing and a preschool project. In each case, the participants will briefly describe the CRA’s role in their project. The participants will also, in a discussion panel format, note challenges related to the CRA in rural communities and how these challenges can potentially be addressed to develop a successful project.