Federal banking regulators have rejected a request that they stop issuing "outstanding" Community Reinvestment Act ratings.

Failure to award outstanding ratings "would penalize institutions that have achieved the highest level of CRA performance," the government's top banking officials wrote in letters sent Dec. 3 to Reps. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, D-Mass., and to Allen Fishbein, general counsel for the Center for Community Change.

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