The Office of Thrift Supervision Director John Reich has decided to bring the agency's Community Reinvestment Act requirements back in line with those of the other federal banking regulators, and the OTS will start a rulemaking process soon.Under former Director James Gilleran, the OTS expanded the small-bank CRA exemption to $1 billion and relaxed the community investment and services tests for larger institutions. The other banking regulators responded by creating a community development test to reduce the CRA burden on institutions with $250 million to $1 billion in assets. But they did not weaken the investment and services tests for larger banks. "Since joining OTS, I have come to appreciate that, in addition to effective community lending, thrifts continue to make investments and services that promote community development in all markets, particularly low- and moderate-income areas," Mr. Reich said. "Regardless of the rules, thrifts will continue to be leaders in key CRA activities."

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