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Community Reinvestment Act Remains Hot Button Issue

Over 7,000 Comment Letters Delivered to FDIC

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 14, 2004) - As the Oct. 20 deadline approaches to comment on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) proposal to expand eligibility for streamlined small-bank Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examinations, the FDIC has received more than 7,000 letters and emails on the issue. Unfortunately, some misunderstandings still exist regarding the change.

"Obviously there has been a great deal of recent interest in CRA," said Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). "However, some activist organizations have circulated inaccurate or misleading information about the proposed changes to simplify the CRA exam process for some community banks."

"All banks will continue to comply with CRA requirements under the proposed changes," Fine said. "The difference is more community banks will avoid wasteful administrative costs and be able to ensure funds are reinvested locally-not diverted elsewhere."

ICBA has published a document outlining the facts regarding the change to the CRA asset-size limits. The document, titled "The Truth about CRA," lists the six biggest myths about CRA and the asset-size limits for banks eligible for streamlined exams.