Stoking an already heated debate over the Community Reinvestment Act, executives at large banks are claiming that new examination methods are just as costly and cumbersome as those they replaced.

The complaints come as federal regulators complete a pilot project intended to find ways to make the examinations more efficient. The exams were supposed to focus on lending actions rather than documentation, but bankers insist that examiners are still demanding reams of documents to support their reinvestment activities.

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