Evaluating a Bank's CRA Performance

Note: The information and resources provided below are not inclusive of any updates outlined in the CRA Final Rule issued on October 24, 2023. For more information on the final rule and compliance dates, please see CRA Final Rule.

The Federal Reserve evaluates how well state member banks have helped meet the needs of their communities using one of five evaluation methods tailored to a bank's size or business strategy.

The Federal Reserve makes banks' Performance Evaluations public through an online database that can be searched using institution or exam criteria or by bank branch location. In addition, each bank is required to maintain a copy of the Performance Evaluation in its public file and make it available to customers upon request.

Each Performance Evaluation includes:

  • The bank's CRA rating(s)
  • Description of the bank and its community
  • Conclusions about the bank's performance
  • Discussion of the facts and data supporting the conclusions

CRA Ratings

One of the following overall CRA ratings will be assigned based on the evaluation of a bank's CRA performance:

  • Outstanding
  • Satisfactory
  • Needs to Improve
  • Substantial Noncompliance

Types of CRA Ratings

  • Overall rating
  • State rating
  • Multistate metropolitan statistical area (MSA) rating
  • Component test ratings

Overall CRA Rating
All banks are issued an overall rating. This is the institution's primary CRA rating.

State Rating or Multistate MSA Rating
A state rating is generally assigned if a bank has branches in more than one state. A bank that has branches in more than one state is also known as an interstate bank.

A multistate MSA rating is assigned if a bank has branches in two or more states within a multistate metropolitan statistical area.

Infographic: What is a Multistate Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)?

CRA activity is captured in either a state rating or a multistate MSA rating, but not both.

Component Ratings
Component ratings are assigned to two types of banks:

  1. Intermediate Small Banks (ISBs)
  • Subject to Lending and Community Development tests
  • Potential component ratings
    • Outstanding
    • Satisfactory
    • Needs to Improve
    • Substantial Noncompliance
  1. Large Banks

Note: There are two gradations of satisfactory for the large bank component tests (high-satisfactory and low-satisfactory).

Small banks, wholesale and limited purpose banks, and banks with strategic plans DO NOT receive component ratings.

  • Subject to Lending, Investment, and Service tests
  • Potential component ratings
    • Outstanding
    • High-Satisfactory
    • Low-Satisfactory
    • Needs to Improve
    • Substantial Noncompliance
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Last Update: December 07, 2018