CRL Senior Policy Counsel Ellen Harnick testifies in a joint public hearing held in Atlanta, GA regarding regulatory reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act, and urges the following improvements to CRA:
1. Broaden CRA assessment areas to reflect the actual scope of bank activity.
2. Require that the activities of bank affiliates count toward the CRA rating of their parent institution.
3. Encourage fair and affordable savings and transactions services specifically targeted to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, including the unbanked and under-banked.
4. Strengthen incentives for fair and affordable consumer and business loans.
5. Promote sustainable mortgage loan modifications for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities.
6. More effectively incent loans and investments for community development projects.
7. Make the CRA ratings system more meaningful by ensuring a transparent, public evaluation that reflects significant differences in bank performance. Implement financial benefits for outstanding CRA performance, and penalties for less than satisfactory performance.
8. Revise CRA examinations to scrutinize lending, investing, and service to minorities and communities of color, to ensure that institutions serve all segments of the communities they are chartered to serve.