The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) stands as a pivotal piece of legislation within the United States, aimed at fostering economic inclusivity and fair access to financial services. The primary objective of the CRA is to encourage national banks, thrifts, and other federally regulated financial institutions to actively participate in meeting the credit needs of the communities in which they operate.
These communities include both affluent and economically disadvantaged areas, with a particular emphasis on serving low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Under the CRA, financial institutions are evaluated on their performance in three key areas: lending, investment, and service. Lending activities involve providing loans to individuals and businesses within the community, while investment encompasses initiatives that contribute to community development. Service commitments include delivering banking services and products to all segments of the community, irrespective of income levels.