Community Reinvestment Performance


The equality and breadth of bank lending practices are under microscopic scrutiny from community groups, Congress, financial regulatory agencies and the media.  To say that subjective interpretation and sporadic enforcement have made the Community Reinvestment Act one of the most controversial regulations ever imposed upon banking is an understatement.  As front page headlines charge discriminatory lending practices, and as previously confidential bank CRA ratings are disclosed, banking's least liked law becomes ever more controversial, emotionally charged and unpopular.

Enforcement of CRA is high on the Clinton agenda in a shift from previous administrations.  New Justice Department investigations, lawsuits and penalities, powerful and well-organized community groups, and heightened attention from the public and media all promise to make CRA the most talked about regulatory issue of the 1990s.  Furthermore, it will increasingly become a major component in the approval of impending bank mergers and any proposed new powers for the banking industry.

Yet, if the truth be known, CRA ratings are alarmingly subjective.  While repeatedly alleged, these charges have never been documented - until now.  CRA expert Kenneth H. Thomas presents the first truly objective, in-depth evaluation of CRA assessment and performance.  Dr. Thomas reveals actual cases of CRA grade inflation and deflation - including the previously unreported case of apparent regulatory favoritism involving one of America's largest failed banks.

Sure to spark additional debate, this landmark work is required reading for anyone in the CRA triangle - bankers, community groups and bank regulators.

Community Reinvestment Performance:

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Copyright © by Kenneth H. Thomas, Ph.D.