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BANKS AND THRIFTS RECEIVED HIGHER CRA RATINGS IN 1993, ACCORDING TO ANALYSIS BY CRA/HMDA UPDATE

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 93 percent of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) ratings regulators awarded banks and thrifts in 1993 were either "outstanding" or "satisfactory," up from 90 percent in 1992, according to a new CRA/HMDA Update analysis of 6,049 CRA ratings issued last year.
 The increase in the percentage of favorable ratings given banks and thrifts is likely to spark a debate over whether banks actually improved their community lending records, or whether regulators simply eased up in their examination last year. Banks and thrifts are rated in one of four categories: outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve, or substantial non-compliance. A new CRA regulatory structure was proposed by federal banking regulators just last month.
 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was by far the busiest of the regulators in the CRA area, accounting for 3,492 of the ratings issued last year. The FDIC was also the most generous regulator in the CRA area with 94 percent of the ratings it handed out falling in the top two categories.
 More than 94 percent of the 873 ratings issued by the Federal Reserve Board in 1993 were "outstanding" or "satisfactory."
 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was one of the tougher regulators in the CRA area, although 90 percent of the 760 ratings it awarded national banks were in the top two categories.
 About 90 percent of the 924 ratings issued by the Office of Thrift Supervision in 1993 were either "outstanding" or "satisfactory." In 1992, only 81 percent of the ratings given by the OTS were in the top two categories.
 Among individual states, South Carolina institutions scored a perfect 100 percent, with all of the ratings from the state either "outstanding" or "satisfactory." With 26.8 percent of the ratings from the state either "needs to improve" or "substantial non-compliance," New Jersey fared the worst.
 Established in 1990, CRA/HMDA Update is a monthly newsletter published by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications.
 -0- 1/6/94
 /CONTACT: John Lewis, managing editor of CRA/HMDA Update, 301-951-1240/


CO: CRA/HMDA Update ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN PUB SU:

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Date:Jan 6, 1994
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