The Office of Thrift Supervision wants to realign its Community Reinvestment Act regulations with those of the other banking regulators to show that thrifts are the "leaders" in CRA lending and investments, according to OTS Director John Reich."I find quite disturbing the fact that our institutions have to continually defend their programs and activities because of OTS's differing CRA rules," Mr. Reich told the National Bankers Association annual conference. With similar CRA standards, thrifts will be able to compare their CRA activities with those of banks, he said. The OTS director also suggested that the agency's different approach to CRA may have hurt thrifts in terms of getting additional investment powers from Congress. A recently passed regulatory relief bill increased the allowable percentage of investments that national banks can make in affordable housing and community development. Federally chartered thrifts did not get an increase.

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