Community Reinvestment Act - Investment & Finance Definition
A federal law passed in 1977 that encourages banks and other financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the low- or moderate-income communities where they operate. The CRA requires that a bank’s lending record in the community be evaluated periodically. Federal officials examine that record when considering an institution’s application for deposit facilities or other administrative services, and look to see that the bank is meeting the needs of all its customers. A poor evaluation of a bank’s CRA effort also can impede a merger if one of the companies has a poor lending record.