During the past two years, the Consumer and Community Affairs (CCA) division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held a series of conferences focused on increasing access to financial services for immigrants. The conference series was conducted under the umbrella of CCA’s Center for the Study of Financial Access for Immigrants. The primary goal of the conference series was to provide forums where individuals interested in the topic of financial services access for immigrants could share ideas, practices and innovative approaches to meeting immigrant financial services demand. The conference series achieved its main goal in three different ways. First, it helped to focus attention on the issues surrounding immigrant financial access by drawing on the expertise of practitioners. Second, the conference series highlighted best practices, partnerships and information sharing arrangements that could provide models for financial institutions, community development professionals, government agencies and researchers addressing barriers to financial services. And third, the series helped to spur new policy-oriented research that builds on the experience of community development professionals, financial institutions and government agencies.
On July 19, the three banking agencies, Office of the Comptroler of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve Board, approved identical amendments to their CRA regulations, to take effect on September 1, 2005.