By the Division of Banks


  1. APPLICABILITY AND SCOPE

    The purpose of this bulletin is to establish the framework for the Division of Banks' (Division) alternative examination procedures for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) at depository institutions and at certain mortgage lenders. The alternative examination procedures are applicable to all banks and credit unions and certain mortgage lenders who received a rating "High Satisfactory" or "Outstanding" at their most recent CRA examination conducted by the Division, or by the appropriate federal banking regulatory agency (if applicable). This procedure is designed to reduce cost to the institution, decrease regulatory burden, and provide incentive for superior CRA performance. Best efforts will be employed by the Division to grant scheduling accommodations requested by the institution should conflicts arise.

  2. POLICY

    1. Description

      1. Large Institutions and Intermediate Small Institutions

        The Division will extend the examination cycle for all "Outstanding" and "High Satisfactory" rated Large Institutions and Intermediate Small Institutions, conducting the CRA examination no sooner than 36 months following the prior Division CRA examination, and no sooner than 12 months following the prior federal regulator's examination. The Division will continue to examine all other institutions at least once every 24 months.

      2. Small Institutions and Mortgage Lenders

        The Division will extend the examination cycle for all "Outstanding" and "High Satisfactory" rated Small Institutions and certain mortgage lenders, conducting the CRA examination no sooner than 60 months following the prior Division CRA examination and no sooner than 12 months following the prior federal regulator's examination. The Division will continue to examine all other institutions at least once every 48 months.

        The Division reserves the right to examine an institution on a shorter interval if interim data received from an institution indicates a deviation from the previous CRA rating or to accommodate a request from the institution to coordinate with an examination being conducted by another supervisory agency.

    2. Public Participation

      The alternative examination procedure shall in no way limit public participation. Examiners will continue to conduct meetings with area community organizations as part of the regular CRAexamination process. The quarterly publication of the planned examination schedule will also apply, and the Division encourages written comments regarding the institution's CRA performance as detailed in 209 CMR 46.21 and 209 CMR 54.21.

    3. Exceptions

      The Division reserves the right to examine any institution at any time due to written complaints, regulatory concerns, or any other issues which would require on-site examination or follow-up.

  3. HISTORICAL NOTES

    This bulletin was first issued on March 1, 1998. The bulletin was revised in 2005 to provide clarification of existing procedures and as a result of amendments to General Laws chapter 167, section 14 by Chapter 461 of the Acts of 2004. This bulletin was revised in 2012 to incorporate examination procedures for mortgage lenders and to enhance clarity. The bulletin was revised on October 2, 2012.

  4. AUTHORITY

    G.L. c. 167, s.14; 209 CMR 46.46; G.L. c. 255E, s.8; 209 CMR 54.46