The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) - Separating Truth from Myths

January 16, 2020

Keynote Presentation by Julie Stackhouse

Presentation slides (pdf)

Passed in 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has played an integral part in expanding access to credit in communities and to borrowers across the United States. But banking is changing, with fewer bank charters and branches. And nonbank financial firms, who do not have CRA obligations, are growing in number and size.

In this video, St. Louis Fed Executive Vice President Julie Stackhouse covers the history of CRA and what it does and does not address. She also discusses recent efforts to update the regulation to reflect the current banking environment.

Segments include:

  • (18:02) - What is redlining, and why did it have such negative consequences?
  • (23:31) - What is the CRA?
  • (25:36) - How has the CRA changed over time? One change involves requiring banks’ CRA ratings to be made public.
  • (34:46) - How has the banking landscape changed over the past few decades?
  • (40:20) - Larger banks have been reporting significant profits recently, but smaller banks struggle with costs.

Audience Q&A

Following the presentation, Stackhouse was joined by Senior Assistant Examiner Caleb Bobo and Assistant Vice President Doug Kerr to answer questions from the audience. Among the topics discussed were redlining, the history of lending in St. Louis and how complaints against banks are handled.

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