ICYMI: An Important Reminder About the CRA Public File, and More

2/28/2024 - By Sarah Oliver, CRCM

Updated 4/11/2024. On March 29, 2024, an interim final rule was published in the Federal Register that extends the applicability date of the facility-based assessment areas provision and the public file provision discussed in the 2023 CRA Final Rule and in our original article (§§ __.16 and __.43, respectively) from April 1, 2024, to January 1, 2026. 

As many of you are still digesting the CRA Modernization final rule that was published in the Federal Register February 1 of this year, it is important not to take for granted that many of the mandatory compliance dates are not effective until January 1, 2026.  It is also more dangerous than not to expect that the recent filing from various trade groups challenging the legality of the rule itself will simply make this all go away.  The effective date of the final rule is April 1, 2024, and you need to be ready for certain provisions that will become mandatory on this day.  Two provisions require immediate action, one of which applies to all banks, regardless of size. 

First, per §__.16, all large banks' facility-based assessment areas must consist of a single MSA, one or more contiguous counties within an MSA, or one or more contiguous counties within the nonmetropolitan area of a State.  Partial counties will no longer be allowed for large banks.  

Second, per §__.43, for banks that maintain a website, all information required for the bank's Public File under this section must be maintained on the bank's website.  This is one of those ‘seems simple enough’ kind of tasks but bear in mind that many of you are at the mercy of website hosts.  Get the change request in sooner rather than later.  And don’t forget that generally, a bank must ensure that its public file contains the information required by this section for each of the previous three calendar years, with the most recent calendar year included in its file annually by April 1 of the current calendar year.

The final rule as published in the federal register is 649 pages of small print.  During this time of continued regulatory volatility, keep your head up – watch for industry updates, whitepapers, and networking opportunities.  Not being in this alone makes all the difference.  For those of us who remember the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game show that was popular in the late 90’s, don’t be afraid to Phone-A-Friend, whether it be your operations staff, compliance officer, or advisory partner.  And yes, I realize the irony of keeping it simple when being hit with regulatory issuances from all over the place, but remember, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.  But please do not eat any elephants.  

About the Author | Sarah Oliver, CRCM

Sarah is a senior manager in the Financial Institution Advisory Group of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund.  Her primary areas of expertise include providing compliance reviews, assisting with special research matters and consulting on deposit and lending related regulations as well as marketing approaches for financial institutions.  Other areas of expertise include FCRA and centralized compliance management systems.  She can be reached directly at sarah.oliver@saltmarshcpa.com. 

Related Posts