The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is hiring 12 specialists to encourage national banks to fund community development projects.

The "community reinvestment and development specialists," who will work in the agency's six district offices, will function in liaison between national banks and community development concerns.

"The specialists will stimulate ongoing dialogue and foster partnerships between local community development organizations, national banks, and public officials," said Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig in a statement Tuesday.

The new employees will give technical assistance to bankers and community groups. They also will train OCC examiners regarding community development loans and investments and Community Reinvestment Act exam techniques.

The Comptroller's Office has already hired nine specialists; three more will be recruited so each district will have two.

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