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Miércoles, 31 Enero 2018 10:16

Financial Institutions Eligible to Receive CRA Consideration for Hurricane Maria Disaster-Recovery Investments

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Financial Institutions Eligible to Receive CRA Consideration for Hurricane Maria Disaster-Recovery Investments

By Liz Lopez

January 30, 2018

 

Last week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued an interagency statement regarding investments, loans, and services in disaster areas affected by Hurricane Maria.

The Agencies expanded the scope for disaster-recovery activities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Financial institutions that are located outside of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are now eligible to receive favorable consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations for disaster-recovery investments, loans, and services they make to revitalize or stabilize these communities. Such investments may also include assistance to individuals who were displaced by Hurricane Maria, including evacuees relocated to other states. The Agencies issued a similar statement in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

CRA has been an important tool to incentivize financial institutions to invest in the communities they serve and to partner with community development financial institutions (CDFIs), community development credit unions, minority-and-women owned financial institutions, and New Market Tax Credit Community Development Entities (NMTC CDEs).

Financial institutions have the tools, partnerships, and incentives to make a significant contribution in the economic recovery efforts of communities impacted by Hurricane Maria. For example, they can make investments to help retain businesses that employ local residents; build essential communitywide infrastructure; and offer housing, financial assistance, and services to individuals in the disaster recovery areas and/or those have been displaced.

Four months after Hurricane Maria, 450,000 Puerto Ricans remain without power; damages are estimated to be more than $85 billion; and over 300,000 residents have moved to Florida, Massachusetts, and New York. 


Liz Lopez


Liz has more than a decade of experience as an advisor and counsel to financial services institutions, non-profit organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. She has leveraged her experience in the public and private sectors to create innovative multi-faceted campaigns, develop bipartisan congressional relationships, and implement corporate social responsibility initiatives. Liz graduated from the University of Chicago and Boston College Law School. She has been featured as a contributor and commentator on community development, economic, and policy issues. You can follow her on Twitter @lizlopezinDC.

 
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