[Federal Register: May 28, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 103)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Office of Thrift
Supervision; Federal Reserve System; Federal Deposit Insurance
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
AGENCIES: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Office of
Thrift Supervision (OTS), Treasury; Board of Governors of the Federal
Reserve System (FRB); and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
SUMMARY: As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the
OCC, OTS, FDIC, and FRB (Agencies) are soliciting comments concerning
their extension of the currently approved information collections
contained in their respective Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
DATES: Comments should be submitted by July 27, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Comments should be directed as follows:
OCC: Communications Division, Attention: Paperwork Docket No. 1557-
0160, Third Floor, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219. In addition, comments may be sent by
facsimile transmission to (202) 874-5274, or by electronic mail to
REGS.COMMENTS@OCC.TREAS.GOV. Comments are available for inspection and
photocopying at 250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC.
OTS: Manager, Dissemination Branch, Information Management and
Services Division, Office of Thrift Supervision, Attention 1550-0012,
1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC. Hand deliver comments to the Public
Reference Room, 1700 G Street NW, lower level, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m. on business days. Send facsimile transmissions to FAX number (202)
906-7755, or to (202) 906-6956 (if comment exceeds 25 pages). Send e-
mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and telephone
number. Interested persons may inspect comments at 1700 G Street NW
from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on business days.
FRB: Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20551.
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact Diane
Jenkins, (202) 452-3544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551.
Additionally, comments may be delivered to the Board's mail room
between 8:45 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., and to the security control room
outside of those hours. Both the mail room and the security control
room are accessible from the courtyard entrance on 20th Street between
Constitution Avenue and C Street, NW. Comments received may be
inspected in room M-P-500 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except as
provided in the Board's Rules Regarding Availability of Information, 12
FDIC: Steven F. Hanft, Assistant Executive Secretary for Regulatory
Analysis, Attention: Comments/CRA, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation, Room 4001B, 550 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20429.
Comments may be hand-delivered to room F-4001B, 1776 F Street, NW,
Washington, DC, on business days between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Comments may be sent through facsimile to (202) 898-3838 or by the
Internet to: COMMENTS@FDIC.GOV.
OMB: In addition, copies of comments should be sent to the OMB desk
officer for the Agencies: Alexander Hunt, Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive
Office Building, Room 3208, Washington, DC 20503.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information or a copy of
the collection may be requested from:
OCC: Jessie Gates or Camille Dickerson, (202)874-5090, Legislative
and Regulatory Activities Division (1557-0160), Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219.
OTS: Mary Rawlings-Milton, (202) 906-6028, Manager, Records
Management Branch, Information Management and Services, (1550-0012),
Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552.
FRB: Mary M. West, Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer, (202)
452-3829, Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of
the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551. Telecommunications
Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact Dorothea Thompson, (202)
452-3544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington,
FDIC: Steven F. Hanft, FDIC Clearance Officer, (202) 898-3907,
Office of the Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20429.
The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) requires that an agency receive
approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of an
information collection that is subject to the PRA before the agency may
collect the information. To obtain OMB approval for collections of
information contained in rules, an agency must publish initial
estimates in the Federal Register of the burden that likely will be
imposed by a given information collection and invite comments on their
accuracy. The agency is then required to prepare revised estimates, if
necessary, taking the comments into consideration and publish a second
Federal Register notice. At the time of the second publication, the
agency also submits to OMB a request for approval of the information
collection. If OMB determines that the information
collection satisfies the relevant criteria,1 it will approve
the collection. Approval typically lasts for three years, after which
an agency must obtain a renewal of the OMB approval by going through
the same steps outlined above if it wishes to continue collecting the
\1\ To be approved, an information collection must: be the least
burdensome necessary for the proper performance of the agency's
functions to comply with legal requirements and achieve program
objectives; not unnecessarily duplicate information otherwise
available to the agency; have practical utility; and seek to
minimize the cost of the collection to the agency without shifting
disproportionate costs or burdens to the public. See 5 CFR Part
The Agencies have submitted a joint request to OMB, pursuant to the
PRA, to renew approval of the information collections in their
regulations implementing the CRA (12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.). The CRA
regulations were developed jointly by the Agencies in a rulemaking
process that concluded with the issuance of final regulations in 1995.
See Community Reinvestment Act Regulations, 60 FR 22156 (May 4, 1995).
The Agencies jointly developed the paperwork burden estimates for the
final rules, and, similarly, have jointly developed the burden
estimates in this notice.
The Agencies have made no substantive revisions to the CRA
regulations since the regulations were adopted in 1995. Thus, there is
no change to the information collection provisions of the CRA
regulations, and the Agencies' request for OMB review involves a
reestimate of burden but no change in the underlying information
The final CRA regulations issued in 1995 were not merely revisions
of the prior rules, but a new and comprehensive reworking of the
Agencies' approach to CRA implementation. Therefore, the 1995 burden
estimates were based on assumptions and projections, rather than on
experience with the information collection provisions of the revised
CRA regulations. The Agencies have reevaluated the burden associated
with the CRA regulations based on their experience in administering the
regulations, changes in the number and business strategies of reporting
institutions, and the comments received as part of the process for
obtaining an extension of OMB's approval of the information
<bullet> As a result of this analysis, the Agencies have concluded
that large banks and thrifts 2--generally, institutions with
$250 million or more in assets and institutions regardless of asset
size, that are affiliates of holding companies with bank and thrift
assets of $1 billion or more--spend significantly more time geocoding
loans and collecting and reporting optional loan data than estimated in
1995. The term ``geocoding'' means the identification of the census
tracts or block numbering areas and the metropolitan statistical areas
(MSAs) where applicable, for small business and small farm loans,
outside-MSA home mortgage loans, appropriate affiliate loans, and, in
some instances, consumer loans. This geocoding burden accounts for most
of the increase over the Agencies' 1995 burden estimates.
\2\ The CRA regulations do not contain a definition of a large
bank or thrift. They define a small institution as one that ``as of
December 31 of either of the prior two calendar years, had total
assets of less than $250 million and was independent or an affiliate
of a holding company that, as of December 31 of either of the prior
two calendar years, had total banking and thrift assets of less than
$1 billion.'' Sec. ____.12(t) or Sec. 563e.12(s).
<bullet> The Agencies' reestimate of geocoding burden has no effect
on institutions that have assets of less than $250 million and that are
not affiliates of a holding company with banking and thrift assets of
$1 billion or more. These institutions, referred to in this Notice as
``small institutions,'' are not required to geocode. The Agencies
continue to estimate that the CRA regulations impose a modest
information collection burden on small institutions--an average of 10
burden hours per institution per year.
<bullet> For large institutions, the Agencies estimate average
burden hours, i.e., the total number of burden hours divided by the
number of institutions affected, as follows: OCC--612.7 burden hours
per large institution per year; FRB--634.6 burden hours per large
institution per year; FDIC--624.3 burden hours per large institution
per year; and OTS--554.2 burden hours per large institution per year.
Differences in burden among Agencies result from differences in the
number of loans reported by institutions. Total burden hours for the
collection are presented, by agency, in the Burden Estimates section of
<bullet> As OMB requires, the Agencies' burden estimates include
not only burden hours associated with mandatory data collections, but
also burden hours attributable to certain data collection, maintenance,
and reporting activities that are optional under the CRA regulations.
Recordkeeping for consumer loans pursuant to Sec. ____.42(c)(1) is an
example of an optional data collection and maintenance activity. If an
institution elects to collect and maintain these data, however, certain
requirements do apply.
Discussion of Comments Received
Three of the Agencies--the OCC, the OTS, and the FDIC--published
requests for comment on the information collections contained in the
CRA regulations.3 In light of the comments received by the
three Agencies, and since the FRB has delegated authority 4
from OMB to review and approve collections of information subject to
the PRA, the FRB opted to delay publication of its initial Federal
Register notice. The FRB has had full benefit of the initial public
comments received by the other Agencies, has reviewed these comments,
and has participated fully in the development of the burden estimates
described in this notice.
\3\ The publication dates and Federal Register citations for
these notices are as follows: OCC: 63 FR 4692 (Jan. 30, 1998); OTS:
62 FR 64,908 (Dec. 9, 1997); and FDIC: 63 FR 3324 ( Jan. 22, 1998).
\4\ See 5 CFR Part 1320 App. A.
Two commenters responded to the OCC's and the FDIC's Federal
Register notices of intent to request that OMB renew its approval of
the CRA information collections. One commenter, a bank trade
association, raised various questions regarding the CRA regulations,
including the information collection requirements. The second
commenter, a bank holding company, raised issues involving the factors
used by the Agencies in determining compliance.
Authority To Collect Information
The bank trade association commenter asserted that the CRA does not
authorize any data collection and that the information collection
requirements contained in the Agencies' CRA rules are unauthorized. The
Agencies carefully considered these same assertions in connection with
their analysis of the public comments received during the CRA
rulemaking process and continue to disagree with the commenter. First,
the CRA specifically requires the Agencies to issue regulations to
carry out its purposes. See 12 U.S.C. 2905. The information collection
and reporting requirements contained in the CRA regulations are
necessary to permit the Agencies to carry out the statutory directives
regarding assessment, evaluation, assigning ratings, reporting, and
consideration of performance in connection with corporate applications.
See 12 U.S.C. 2903, 2906. Second, the CRA regulations are also
authorized by each Agency's general authority to examine, supervise,
and issue regulations governing banks and thrifts.
See 12 U.S.C. 93a (OCC); 1462a, 1463, and 1464 (OTS); 1819 (FDIC); 248
(FRB). See also 60 FR at 22173-74 (preamble to 1995 final regulations
discussing need and basis for information collection).
Location of Small Business Loans
The bank holding company commenter questioned the need for
information about the location of small business loans. The commenter
asserted that, under the CRA regulations, small business lending is
evaluated primarily by the size of the loan and the size of the
business. The Agencies evaluate small business lending using these
factors, but they also consider where the borrower is located. This
requirement helps the Agencies evaluate how an institution helps to
meet the needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-
income neighborhoods. As part of this evaluation, examiners consider
the proportion of loans made in the institution's assessment area, the
dispersion of loans throughout the institution's assessment area, and
the number and amount of loans made in areas of different income
categories. The Agencies have reduced the burden associated with this
requirement, however, by permitting an institution to report the
location of a small business loan by either the location of the
business headquarters or the location where the greatest proportion of
the proceeds are to be applied. See ``Interagency Questions and Answers
Regarding Community Reinvestment,'' 62 FR 23645 (May 3, 1997) (Q&A 1
addressing Sec. __.42(a)(3)).
The bank holding company commenter also raised two general concerns
with the CRA regulations. First, noting that institutions must classify
income levels of various geographies according to the 1990 census, the
commenter urged the Agencies to take into account subsequent events
that have a material adverse impact on a geography's income level for
purposes of this classification. Although the Agencies rely on official
census information, they also consider subsequent events in an
institution's performance evaluations in many ways--for example, in the
context of an institution's performance and through annual updating of
the income levels of the institution's individual borrowers, including
the borrowers residing in such a geography.
This commenter also remarked that when the Agencies evaluate CRA
performance, loans categorized as made outside an institution's
assessment area, which may include credit card loans, are not evaluated
favorably. The Agencies note that many out-of-area loans, including
credit card loans, to low- and moderate-income individuals can be
considered favorably in a performance evaluation so long as the
institution has addressed adequately the needs of borrowers within its
assessment area. See id. at 23632 (Q&A 4 addressing Sec. ____.22(b)(2)
The bank trade association commenter asserted that the Agencies'
burden estimates were too low, and provided anecdotal information
intended to demonstrate this point. The Agencies note that the final
CRA regulations issued in 1995 were not merely revisions of the prior
rules, but were a new and comprehensive reworking of the Agencies'
approach to the CRA. These regulations measure institutions' CRA
performance using criteria that vary with the size, business strategy,
and other characteristics of the institution. As a result, the 1995
burden estimates were necessarily based on assumptions and projections,
rather than on actual experience with the information collections
required by the CRA regulations. In addition, since that time, the
number and business strategies of covered institutions has changed.
To test the continuing validity of those assumptions, the Agencies
each consulted informally with a number of institutions of varying
sizes about the information collection burden they experience as a
result of the CRA regulations. These institutions provided information
useful to the Agencies in understanding the burden of specific aspects
of the CRA information collections. However, the number of institutions
consulted was too small to enable the Agencies to make useful
projections regarding CRA burden industry wide. Further, because of
differences in the institutions' size and geographic locations, the
range of estimated burden reported by the institutions was extremely
broad. Thus, the burden estimates described in this notice are not
extrapolated from the information provided by those institutions.
The burden estimates contained in this notice were developed by
staff from the Agencies. They reviewed the provisions in the
regulations that impose paperwork burden and arrived at estimates based
on the Agencies' experience in administering the CRA regulations over
the past three years. In reaching the updated estimates, the Agencies'
staff considered both the information provided by the trade association
commenter and the information provided by the institutions that were
In particular, the Agencies have concluded that large institutions
are spending substantially more time geocoding loans and collecting and
reporting optional loan data than was originally estimated. The
Agencies' initial estimates of burden for the CRA regulations included
two assumptions: First, that geocoding software would significantly
reduce the burden of the geocoding requirements for large institutions;
and second, that large institutions would fully employ then-existing
geocoding software and upgrade their systems as improvements to that
software were developed. Neither of these assumptions has proven to be
accurate. As a result, the Agencies significantly increased their
burden estimates from those done in 1995.
Although institutions do typically use a software program to
geocode, portions of the geocoding task must still be done manually for
some loans. For example, an employee may need to consult census tract
maps or street index books or place a call to the Census Bureau if the
information needed to geocode is not included in their software
program. Moreover, it has taken longer than anticipated for burden-
reducing improvements in the software to become available. For example,
the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC)
improved data-entry software and its geocoding website did not become
fully available to the industry until after the March 1, 1997, due date
for reporting calendar year 1996 data. Finally, it appears that
institutions sometimes rely on manual processing to geocode even though
there is software available that can perform much of the work.
The Agencies and financial institutions now have three years of
experience with the geocoding requirements and the level of use of
available tools for complying with these requirements. As a result, the
Agencies are better able to review and estimate the geocoding burden.
The Agencies have increased the information collection burden estimate
for large institutions significantly. The reestimation of geocoding
burden does not affect small institutions because they are not subject
to the geocoding requirements unless they choose to be evaluated under
the lending, investment, and service tests.
In order to have a better understanding of the overall burden
imposed by the CRA regulations, the Agencies averaged recordkeeping and
reporting burden over the total number
of reporting institutions. The Agencies did not distinguish between the
lending characteristics of different charters when averaging the
burden. As a result, although the Agencies were careful in their
attempt to estimate the burden imposed by CRA on the industry overall,
the averages presented do not necessarily reflect the burden
experienced by the institutions of any specific agency. For instance,
thrift institutions generally report many fewer small business and
small farm loans than banks. On the other hand, the number of home
mortgage loans reported by the average thrift is higher than that of a
bank. These differences in the credit offered by various charters may
result in differences between the estimated burden associated with the
charters and actual burden experienced. As a whole, however, the
Agencies believe that this methodology best expresses the overall
aggregate burden imposed on institutions.
OCC: Community Reinvestment Act Regulation (12 CFR 25).
OTS: Community Reinvestment Group I.
FRB: Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Disclosure Requirements in
Connection with Regulation BB (Community Reinvestment Act).
FDIC: Community Reinvestment Act.
OMB Control Number
Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection
Form Number: None.
Abstract: This submission covers an extension of the Agencies'
currently approved information collections in their CRA regulations.
The Agencies need the information collected to fulfill their
obligations under the CRA (12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.) to evaluate and
assign ratings to the performance of institutions in connection with
helping to meet the credit needs of their entire communities, including
low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound
banking practices. The Agencies use the information in the examination
process and in evaluating applications for mergers, branches, and
certain other corporate activities. Financial institutions maintain and
provide the information to the Agencies.
Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit; This information
collection will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities.
Number of Respondents
Small national banks: 1,907.
Large national banks: 612.
Small thrifts: 849.
Large thrifts: 305.
Small institutions: 762.
Large institutions: 227.
Small institutions: 5,415.
Large institutions: 754.
Total Annual Responses
Small national banks: 1,907.
Large national banks: 612.
Small thrifts: 849.
Large thrifts: 305.
FRB: Small institutions: 762.
Large institutions: 227.
Small institutions: 5,415.
Large institutions: 754.
Frequency of Response: Annually.
Total Annual Burden Hours
Small national banks: 19,070 hours.
Large national banks: 374,955 hours.
Total burden: 394,025 hours.
Small thrifts: 8,490 hours.
Large thrifts: 169,035 hours.
Total: 177,525 hours.
Small institutions: 7,620 hours.
Large institutions: 144,060 hours.
Total: 151,680 hours.
Small institutions: 54,150 hours.
Large institutions: 470,711 hours.
Total: 524,861 hours.
All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are
(a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the
proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether
the information shall have practical utility;
(b) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the
collection of information;
(c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the
information to be collected;
(d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection on respondents,
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other
forms of information technology; and
(e) Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation,
maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.
Dated: May 21, 1999.
Director, Legislative & Regulatory Activities Division, Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency.
Dated: May 21, 1999.
By the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Frank R. DiGialleonardo,
Chief Information Officer and Director, Office of Information Systems.
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 20, 1999.
Jennifer J. Johnson,
Secretary of the Board.
Dated: May 21, 1999.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Robert E. Feldman,
[FR Doc. 99-13567 Filed 5-27-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE OCC: 4810-33-P, OTS: 6720-01-P, FRB: 6210-01-P, FDIC: