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Rep. Meeks Tours Downtown Jamaica with US Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry

June 29, 2016
Press Release

Rep. Meeks Tours Downtown Jamaica with US Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry

New York, NY—Today, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks and U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas J. Curry, toured downtown Jamaica, NY, to highlight the need for revamping the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Originally passed in 1977, the CRA incentivizes depository institutions to provide credit to individuals in low- and middle-income communities. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulates and supervises national banks, including enforcement of CRA provisions. Congressman Meeks issued the below statement after the tour:

"With more than 5,000 branches closing since the 2008 financial crisis, residents of low-income neighborhoods oftentimes have nowhere to turn for banking services. Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act is long overdue to fulfill its original objective: helping low- and middle-income families receive banking services.

"Throughout our tour of downtown Jamaica, Comptroller Curry and I visited many ongoing CRA-related investment projects, and spoke with local bankers and community development leaders about the economic challenges facing our communities. We broadly agreed that the significant changes in the banking sector since the law was enacted nearly forty years ago have rendered the current CRA framework much less effective in incentivizing the nation’s financial institutions to serve underserved communities across the country.

"It has been and will continue to be a priority of mine to modernize the CRA, and I thank Comptroller Curry for coming to Jamaica to highlight this need and directly engage with local bankers."

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Congressman Meeks is currently circulating a letter in the House of Representatives, urging banking regulators to revamp the CRA. The letter has so far gathered the support of over 25 members of congress, and has been endorsed by over 150 community development organizations led by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).