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Subject: Community Reinvestment Act Notices, Fair Housing Act Posters, Equal Credit Opportunity Act Notices
Date: October 11, 2011
To: Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, Department and Division Heads, and All Examining Personnel
This bulletin advises institutions supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of the appropriate names and addresses for notices required by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and posters required by the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
On July 21, 2011, the transfer of former Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) functions to the OCC, including the supervision of all federal savings associations, was completed. In addition, enforcement authority for compliance with ECOA for OCC-supervised institutions with assets greater than $10 billion was transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Altogether, these activities necessitate changes to CRA public notices, FHA posters, and ECOA notices. OCC-supervised institutions should make the appropriate changes to their notices and posters, if necessary, within 90 days of this notification.
Community Reinvestment Act—Public Notice by Banks
Implementing regulations for the CRA for both national banks and federal savings associations require these institutions to place in the public lobby of their main office and each of their branches the appropriate notice as set forth in appendix B of the CRA regulation that applies to the institution.1 All OCC-supervised institutions subject to CRA must provide in their public notices the address of the appropriate supervisory office for purposes of informing the public how to (1) obtain a list of institutions that are scheduled for CRA examination each quarter, (2) obtain an announcement of applications covered by the CRA filed with the OCC, or (3) send written comments about an institution's performance in helping to meet community credit needs. These addresses are
Fair Housing Act—Posters
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations require that all persons subject to section 805 of the FHA shall post and maintain a fair housing poster at all their places of business which participate in the covered activities.2 Additionally, savings associations are required to include in their posters a statement directing persons who believe that they have been discriminated against to send a complaint to the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410; and to the appropriate federal regulator.3 All federal savings associations must update their Equal Housing Act posters to replace the OTS address with the following OCC address:
The provision dealing with submission of FHA complaints to HUD remains unchanged.
Regulation B—ECOA Notice
The ECOA requires the creditor to provide a notice that is substantially similar to the following: "The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Protection Act. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is [name and address as specified by the appropriate agency listed in Appendix A of this regulation]."4
As the addresses of the respective federal agencies are noted within the regulation itself,5 the CFPB intends on updating this rule in the future to reflect the supervisory changes resulting from the enactment of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Until the rule has been updated, financial institutions should continue to provide the address previously noted for the institution within appendix A of the regulation. For example, federal savings associations now supervised by the OCC should continue to use the OTS complaint address. Currently, ECOA and other consumer complaints that are received at the former OTS address are forwarded to the appropriate supervisory agency for processing. Similarly, complaints received by the OCC for institutions supervised for consumer compliance by the CFPB are forwarded to the CFPB.
For more information on this communication, please contact your supervisory office, Compliance Policy at (202) 649-5470, or Community and Consumer Law at (202) 649–6350.
Grovetta N. Gardineer