WASHINGTON DC (STL.News) — Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Friday visited Atlanta to tour neighborhoods that have benefited from activities encouraged by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and areas that could benefit from additional CRA activity.
“Today, we saw what great things can be accomplished when banks, civil rights organizations, nonprofit groups, and local advocates work together to meet the needs of their communities,” Comptroller Otting said following the tour. “We also discussed how current CRA regulations hamstring efforts that could revitalize these areas and bring even more lending, investment, and service to where they are needed most.”
The Comptroller was joined on the tour by John Hope Bryant, CEO and Founder of Operation HOPE, Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and representatives from area community groups, redevelopment organizations, and banks. The group began their tour of Atlanta from the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Collaborative and visited a HOPE Inside office at the MLK Shopping Center/Historic Westside Village, the Wheat Street Gardens Redevelopment, the Auburn Avenue Historic Redevelopment, the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the historic Butler Street YMCA Redevelopment, and other economic development sites.
“The places we visited today confirm how CRA has been a force for good for the past 40 years,” the Comptroller said. “Our goal now is to strengthen CRA so that it continues to encourage the flow of billions of dollars into our communities and neighborhoods each year. We can modernize CRA regulations to encourage banks to do even more by clarifying what counts for CRA credit, updating where activity qualifies, making evaluations of bank CRA performance more objective, and reporting results in a more timely and transparent manner.”
The OCC continues to work with other federal banking regulators to develop a modern CRA regulatory framework. The Comptroller will continue to meet with stakeholders and visit areas throughout the country to see CRA success stories first hand and hear directly how regulators can make CRA work better for everyone while fulfilling the statutory purpose of the CRA.
“It has been an impactful afternoon revisiting a very essential conversation around opportunity and uplift in Atlanta,” John Hope Bryant said. “We are pleased to work with the Comptroller and local leaders to ensure that our collaborative efforts result in the inclusion and empowerment of our underserved communities.”