Q: § __.21(f) – 1: The CRA provides that, in assessing the CRA performance of nonminority- and non-women-owned (majority-owned) financial institutions, examiners may consider as a factor capital investments, loan participations, and other ventures undertaken by the institutions in cooperation with minority- or women-owned financial institutions and low-income credit unions (MWLI), provided that these activities help meet the credit needs of local communities in which the MWLIs are chartered. Must such activities also benefit the majority-owned financial institution’s assessment area(s)?
A: No. Although the regulations generally provide that an institution’s CRA activities will be evaluated for the extent to which they benefit the institution’s assessment area(s) or a broader statewide or regional area that includes the institution’s assessment area(s), the Agencies apply a broader geographic criterion when evaluating capital investments, loan participations, and other ventures undertaken by that institution in cooperation with MWLIs, as provided by the CRA. Thus, such activities will be favorably considered in the CRA performance evaluation of the institution (as loans, investments, or services, as appropriate), even if the MWLIs are not located in, or such activities do not benefit, the assessment area(s) of the majority-owned institution or the broader statewide or regional area that includes its assessment area(s). The activities must, however, help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which the MWLIs are chartered. The impact of a majority-owned institution’s activities in cooperation with MWLIs on the majority-owned institution’s CRA rating will be determined in conjunction with its overall performance in its assessment area(s).
Examples of activities undertaken by a majority-owned financial institution in cooperation with MWLIs that would receive CRA consideration may include
• making a deposit or capital investment;
• purchasing a participation in a loan;
• loaning an officer or providing other technical expertise to assist an MWLI in improving its lending policies and practices;
• providing financial support to enable an MWLI to partner with schools or universities to offer financial literacy education to members of its local community; or
• providing free or discounted data processing systems, or office facilities to aid an MWLI in serving its customers.
This Interagency Q&A, and others, was released in July 2016.
The 2016 Q&As consolidates and supersedes all previously published “Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment,” and were noted as being effective immediately. They may be found here: http://www.ffiec.gov/cra/qnadoc.htm