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Whether a financial institution's investment in a SEC-registered Fund structured as a Business Development Corporation would qualify under the Commonwealth's Community Reinvestment Act, Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 167, section 14, depends in part on the Fund's investment objectives and methods and in part on the CRA requirements of the individual financial institutions.
Pursuant to 209 CMR 46.12, a "qualified investment" is defined as "a lawful investment, deposit, membership share, or grant that has as its primary purpose community development. "Community development" includes the following: (a) affordable housing for low- and moderate-income individuals; (b) community services targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals; (c) activities which promote economic development by financing businesses or farms that meet the size requirements of 13 CFR 121.301 (SBA's Development of Small Business Investment Company programs); (d) activities that revitalize or stabilize the fishing industry; or (e) activities that revitalize or stabilize low- to moderate-income areas.
The Division of Banks would give positive CRA consideration to a financial institution's investment in the above-described Fund provided the Fund assets primarily promote community development. In order to receive CRA consideration, a retail institution must target a region consisting of its investment area(s) or a broader statewide or regional area that includes the assessment area(s) for investment in a fund. A wholesale or limited purpose institution may target its fund investment to an area outside its assessment area(s), provided it has addressed the needs within its assessment area(s).
This is a summary of Selected Opinion 98-072 which was issued in 2nd quarter of 1998.