The Office of Thrift Supervision says it plans to increase the Community Reinvestment Act exemption for small banks to $1 billion, bucking two other regulators who decided that only Congress could increase the current $250 million CRA exemption.The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board decided to withdraw a CRA proposal that originally proposed to increase the small-bank exemption from $250 million to $500 million. The OTS decision would excuse 199 thrifts from documenting their loans, services, and investments in low- and moderate-income areas. Six hundreds thrifts currently fall under the $250 million small-bank exemption. America's Community Bankers welcomed the OTS decision, but Judy Kennedy, president of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, called it "very disappointing." The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has not tipped its hand. An FDIC spokesman said the FDIC board of directors might not take up the issue until September

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