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FOS Blog

09 Mar
2018

CRA Public File – April 1 Deadline is Looming

CRA Public File – April 1 Deadline is Looming!

Now that your 2017 HMDA LAR is filed (by March 1), there’s another deadline looming – Your CRA Public File must be current as of April 1 of each year per 228.43(e).  If you are a HMDA filer, one new item to insert is the new HMDA Disclosure:

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Notice – The HMDA data about our residential mortgage lending are available online for review. The data shows geographic distribution of loans and applications; ethnicity, race, sex, age and income of applicants and borrowers; and information about loan approvals and denials. This data is available online at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website (www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda ). HMDA data for many other financial institutions are also available at this website.

If you have an affiliate, you are required to make public the name of the affiliate and a written notice that their information may be obtained at the bureau’s website also.  Technically, this notice is not required in the file until 3 business days following notice from the FFIEC of the availability of the disclosure statements per 228.43(b)(2).  But, will you remember to do this in September when the information is typically released?

You are also still required to keep the disclosure statements for each of the 2 prior calendar years in your public file – today that would be for 2015 and 2016 per 228.43(b).  Beginning in 2019 when both 2017 and 2018 data will only be available electronically from the CFPB, then you will have no paper disclosures in your CRA Public File.  Of course, today, you may also choose to retain the 2015 and 2016 in electronic form such as a CD-ROM.

The HMDA regulation per 1003.5(c) also requires that you make your Modified LAR available to the public for three years.  Some institutions include this in their CRA Public File; others maintain a separate public file for the LARs.  The HMDA regulation also differs from the CRA Public File requirements in that the FFIEC Disclosure Statements must be available for inspection and copying for 5 years, but only the 2 most recent years must be included in the CRA Public File.

Other considerations in updating your CRA Public File:

  • Have you received any CRA related comments about meeting community credit needs for the current year and prior 2 calendar years?
  • Have you had a CRA exam?  Include your most recent CRA Performance Evaluation from your examiners.
  • Have you opened or closed any branches?  You need to identify any that were opened/closed during the current and 2 prior calendar years.
  • Do you have a complete branch listing including their street addresses, hours of service, and geographies (census tract information and whether any branches are in a Low or Moderate-Income census tract)?
  • What do your use to illustrate your list of services – loan and deposit products and transaction fees?  Is it paper or electronic marketing brochure(s)?  Or it could be current webpages, printed or preserved electronically.
  • And don’t forget those alternative services – ATM; Debit/Credit Cards; Telephone, Online, Mobile Banking; etc.
  • Assessment Area Maps showing the boundaries of the Bank’s geographies.  Maps can be downloaded from the Census Bureau website at https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/maps/2010tract.html
  • Some institutions also include the demographic data for those census tracts by using FFIEC reports found at https://www.ffiec.gov/census/Default.aspx
  • You are also allowed to include any other information you choose.  Perhaps you have an innovative new product.  Or a special first-time homebuyers program.  The Public File is a good place to feature these products and services.
  • Small Banks should also include their Loan-to-Deposit Ratios for each quarter of the prior calendar year.

If you are more than a small bank (an Intermediate Small or Large Bank), you may also choose to voluntarily include information about “consumer” loans (number and dollar amount) for loans made to LMI individuals or in LMI census tracts.  Some also choose to include information about loans secured by residences for other than HMDA reporting purposes (ex: small business loans).

Your CRA Public File tells your institution’s story.  Make certain it speaks well for you.

For additional information contact the author Evelyn Dehmey at edehmey@fosaudit.com.

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