Fair Lending Supervision and the Community Reinvestment Act
The Federal Reserve, through its role as a supervisor of financial institutions, evaluates banks under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Violations of both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the fair lending laws, as well as other illegal credit practices, are taken into account during these evaluations. When evaluating proposals for mergers and acquisitions, the Board considers a bank's consumer compliance record, including fair lending, and its evaluation under the Community Reinvestment Act. A robust supervisory approach is critical to addressing racial discrimination, which can close off opportunities and limit consumers' ability to improve their economic circumstances, including through access to homeownership and education.
- FedCommunities Voices: CRA Building Block for Change – Articles by Federal Reserve leaders and staff discussing the important role of CRA for equitable development.
- CRA Interagency FAQs on Consideration for Activities in Response to the Coronavirus were issued on March 5, 2021 to clarify consideration of lending and other activities considered responsive to the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals during COVID-19.
- On September 21, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that invites public comment on an approach to modernize the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act by strengthening, clarifying, and tailoring them to reflect the current banking landscape and better meet the Act's core purpose. The ANPR seeks feedback on ways to evaluate how banks meet the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and address inequities in credit access.
- Through the Outlook Live webinar series, the Federal Reserve hosts an annual interagency fair lending webinar, which typically draws thousands of registrants.
- The Federal Reserve publication Consumer Compliance Outlook has included articles on fair lending such as From Catalogs to Clicks: The Fair Lending Implications of Targeted, Internet Marketing and Keeping Fintech Fair: Thinking About Fair Lending and UDAP Risks.
- The Federal Reserve Consumer Compliance Supervision Bulletins have also discussed fair lending issues, including in the 2018 and 2019 Bulletins.