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NR 2008-130
Contact: Dean DeBuck
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OCC Releases Newsletter Focusing on Gulf Coast Redevelopment

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released the fall 2008 edition of the Community Developments newsletter focusing on the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region.

"Three years after the storms of 2005, national banks are key partners in the ongoing recovery effort to help bring back Gulf Coast communities," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan. "We are hopeful that recent policy changes to extend Community Reinvestment Act consideration for recovery-related efforts by an additional three years will facilitate continued bank investment in the Gulf Coast region."

Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, financial institutions may receive CRA consideration for disaster recovery-related activities that help to revitalize or stabilize a major disaster area for 36 months following the date of designation by the federal government. However, where there is a demonstrable community need to extend the period for recognizing revitalization or stabilization activities in a particular disaster area to assist in long-term recovery efforts, this time period may be extended. In September 2008, the bank regulatory agencies extended by an additional three years the period during which loans, investments, and services that help stabilize the areas impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita will receive positive CRA consideration.

This issue of Community Developments highlights bank involvement in Gulf Coast redevelopment activities and describes how financial institutions across the country can earn positive CRA consideration for recovery related activities. The newsletter also discusses the Housing and Economic Recovery Act’s expansion of national banks’ public welfare investment authority which now allows a broader range of bank investment activities in designated disaster areas.

The Community Developments newsletter can be accessed on the OCC's Web site at: /static/community-affairs/community-developments-newsletter/CD_Fall08.pdf



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