Q: § __.41(e)(4) – 2: May an institution delineate one assessment area that consists of an MSA and two large counties that abut the MSA but are not adjacent to each other?
A: As a general rule, an institution’s assessment area should not extend substantially beyond the boundary of an MSA. Therefore, the MSA would be a separate assessment area, and because the two abutting counties are not adjacent to each other and, in this example, extend substantially beyond the boundary of the MSA, the institution would delineate each county as a separate assessment area, assuming branches or deposit-taking ATMs are located in each county and the MSA. So, in this example, there would be three assessment areas. However, if the MSA and the two counties were in the same CSA, then the institution could delineate only one assessment area including them all. But, the institution’s CRA performance in the MSAs and the non-MSA counties in that assessment area would be evaluated using separate median family incomes and other relevant information at the MSA and state, non-MSA level, rather than at the CSA level.
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