Community Highlights

Aug. 18, 2017

Virginia: Highlights From Winchester

Report on Community Investing: Understanding CRA and Community Development

The Community Reinvestment Act is the federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of the communities in which they take deposits, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. One of the ways the Community Development team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond progresses the goals of the CRA is to educate bankers and community based organizations on community investment and to create opportunities for financial institutions to network with CBOs. In June, the Richmond Fed, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Community Reinvestment Coalition of Virginia partnered to hold a one-day forum, “Community Investing: Understanding CRA and Community Development.” The forum was hosted by Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, and provided networking and joint learning for attendees from Virginia and West Virginia.

Community Development partnered with the other regulatory agencies on this program to help banks and nonprofits learn how to work together to finance community investment. This forum successfully focused on the interests and needs of both bankers and community development practitioners as well as connecting community-based nonprofit organizations with financial institutions that are looking to invest in underserved communities.

The day included an informational session on the FDIC’s 2015 Economic Inclusion Survey, a lunchtime learning session about USDA Rural Development, and a panel of nonprofit organizations and bankers who have successfully partnered to better their communities. Attendees also participated in specialized break-out sessions, which focused on area-specific topics regarding the CRA. While Federal Reserve and FDIC examiners offered tips to bank compliance officers on how to better record and report CRA lending, nonprofit leaders learned about the Community Reinvestment Act, what it means to banks, and how it can be used to help communities.

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