• Print
  • Email
  • Share

What is the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)?

Regulation BB implements the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA), which requires that the federal regulators of banks and thrifts encourage those institutions to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered. The CRA directs the regulatory agencies to assess each institution's record in meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations. The CRA also directs the agencies to take these records into account in evaluating the institutions' applications for deposit facilities, such as a merger with another bank.

Regulation BB implements these requirements and addresses a variety of related matters, including the collection, maintenance, and reporting of data about an institution's performance in meeting the credit needs of its community and the institution's public disclosure of materials evaluating or commenting on its performance. The other three federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies have promulgated regulations substantially identical to Regulation BB.

Getting to Know the Community Reinvestment Act

The first video, “Getting to Know the Community Reinvestment Act”, explains in practical, understandable terms the basic elements of the CRA and how regulators evaluate a financial institution’s CRA performance. It is essential viewing for anyone interested in learning about the Act. The video is also extremely helpful for those who are interested in collaborating with financial institutions to make their communities better places to live and work.

Small and Intermediate Bank CRA Examinations

Next, “Small and Intermediate Small Bank CRA Examinations,” focuses on the role financial institutions of all sizes play in ensuring fair and equal access to credit throughout the country by discussing the different performance criteria applied to smaller financial institutions under the CRA.

CRA Community Development Defined

The third video in the series, “Community Development Defined in the Community Reinvestment Act,” demonstrates how partnerships between financial institutions and federal, state, and local entities can foster revitalization and stronger economic futures for families. In this episode, a fictitious institution applies the CRA definition of community development to meet local community credit and service needs.

Leading Practices for Effective CRA Programs

The fourth and final video, entitled “Leading Practices for Effective CRA Programs,” highlights some of the leading CRA practices observed by members of the Federal Reserve’s community development departments. This video seeks to inform community groups, community development practitioners, researchers, educators, government officials, and others about the issues that financial institutions consider from a CRA perspective.

CRA Resources


To find links to examination results and regulators and to learn more information about specific regulations, please visit our resources page.

Contact Us
Community Development and Policy Studies
E-Mail
On The Web


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Please review our Privacy Policy | Legal Notices