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As Regulators Give Big Banks Two Years Community Reinvestment Act Comment Period Must Be Extended

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon  Periscope
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BRONX / SDNY, March 30 --   With the Community Reinvestment Act under attack by US Comptroller of the Currency Josephy Otting, Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press on March 11 submitted a third comment this time making an obvious request.

They ask that in light of Coronavirus / COVID-19 the comment period on the assault on CRA be extended for months. See also here. Though it shouldn't have been necessary, Fair Finance Watch commented again on March 20, noting postponements by SEC and others.

  Now, with Otting even still resisting postponing his dream of weakening the CRA, his OCC has joined not only his sometime partner in crime the FDIC but also the Fed providing a TWO YEAR extension for big banks, while still threatening to push through his attack on CRA, ghoulishly using Coronavirus.

  Fair Finance Watch has written in, receipt confirmed, on March 30:

 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Chief Counsel's Office, Attention: Comment Processing,  400 7th Street SW, Suite 3E-218, Washington, DC 20219

Re: Docket ID OCC-2018-0008 - 5th opposition to OCC/FDIC plan to weaken CRA - formal demand that comment period be extended in light of Coronavirus COVID-19 & OCC inaction, two year postponement for big banks, threats to communities

To whom it may concern at the OCC and FDIC:    On behalf of Fair Finance Watch, and Inner City Press, and in my personal capacity, this is a fifth timely comment opposing the proposal by Comptroller Joseph Otting and the FDIC to weaken the CRA.   On March 11, amid the then-worsening Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, we wrote to formally demand an extension of this comment period.

On March 18, we wrote to point out that the SEC extended comment periods, and that even filing taxes was extended to July 15.    Still, no response so far from the OCC. This is both telling and troubling.   

So now, on March 30, this: Otting's OCC was among the Federal regulators which announced on Friday, March 27 that "big banks can wait longer before phasing in the regulatory capital effects of a new loan loss accounting standard and can choose to switch over early to an updated methodology for calculating certain capital requirements, moves intended to buoy bank lending during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued an emergency rule stating that banks required to adopt the current expected credit losses, or CECL, accounting standard in 2020 may delay its estimated impact on their regulatory capital for two years." 

  So - extensions for big banks, but still none for impacted communities and consumers. Even if the OCC as it must acts today to indefinitely postpone Otting's crusade to kill the CRA, this delay has been indicative of Otting's inordinate focus on destroying the CRA in retaliation for his exposure for fake comments as he sold his OneWest to CIT Group.    Again, a pending CRA merger challenge submitted electronically by FFW to Northfield Bank - Victory State Bank choosing to respond, cursorily, by snail mail. Something is dreadfully wrong at the OCC. This comment period on weakening the CRA must be indefinitely extended.   The above is added to what we can only interpret as the OCC's furthering weakening of CRA by no documents response to our FOIA request about this CRA proposal and the Comptroller's schedule, and the OCC's failure to inquire into even branch closings int he CBNA - Steuban Trust proposal we comments on. This is not the time to be slipping through an undermining of CRA."

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