Magazine article American Banker

Regulator's Vow CRA Revisions Will Be Ready by End of April

Magazine article American Banker

Regulator's Vow CRA Revisions Will Be Ready by End of April

Article excerpt

Vice President Gore stunned his audience in mid-February when he demanded that the bank regulatory agencies finalize new Community Reinvestment Act rules within a month.

Six weeks later, regulators swear they'll finish the rule revisions by the end of April.

"It will be next month," Federal Reserve Board Governor Lawrence B. Lindsey said in a brief interview. Regulators have resolved most of the substantive issues, he said, but they've bogged down on the phrasing, he said.

A spokeswoman for Vice President Gore said he is eager to see the final rules.

"His position is the same as six weeks ago," the spokeswoman said. "We would like to see these proposals come forth as quickly as possible." While none of the agencies would discuss details of the revisions, some information has slipped out.

First, the new rules will take effect Jan. 1, said Matthew Roberts, director of the consumer and community law division at the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, but banks will have up to 18 months to comply with some provisions, he said.

"They will have at least as long as with the time frame we were anticipating in the last proposal," Mr. Roberts said.

If regulators include new data collection requirements for small business loans, then that would begin at the start of January, he said. "I think Jan. 1 seems to be a sensible time to start certain collection things you might have to do," he said. "But that's open."

The regulators also said the proposal will closely resemble the 1994 draft. The three-pronged test, which focuses on lending, investment and service, remains. …

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