WASHINGTON -- A dozen community groups are joining forces to demand regulators refocus Community Reinvestment Act reform on direct lending.

In a letter to the agencies Tuesday, the advocates also asked that more detail be required and released on new mee and gender reports on small business lending.

The Community Reinvestment Act Proposal, out for comment until Nov. 21, would allow banks to earn too much credit for loans made indirectly through partnerships with others, the letter said.

The community groups asked regulators " to count no more than $1 of indirect loans they make for every $10 of direct loan."

The conamnity groups also want regulators to refine the small business lending repum so the public can tell which types of minorities are getting loans. The proposal does not distinguish between minority groups.

The Sept. 26 plan requires banks to report to regulators small business leading by census tract however, only aggregate data would he released to the public.

The community groups said their .support for CRA reform is contingent on access to the tractby-tract data regulators will receive.

"There's a trade-off," said Allen J. Fishbein, general counsel of the Center for Community Change her. "If the regulators want to go to a more judgementbased rating system, then they have to provide more information to the public."

The CRA proposal is a revised version of another plan that came out in December 1993.

In the revision, regulators shifted from measurable tests to subjective criteria to judge CRA compliance.

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