The Wall Street Journal reports that the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has floated the idea of not enforcing lending rules for poor people based on the location of a bank’s physical branches. People familiar with the matter said the OCC privately sought other regulators’ input on eliminating the concept of geographic “assessment areas” when deciding whether banks comply with the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. Community groups that work on affordable lending matters are likely to oppose the idea, which would reduce incentives for banks to lend in poor areas.
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