WASHINGTON - Bob Gnaizda, the Greenlining Institute's policy director, has found a way to make Community Reinvestment Act ratings more meaningful.

Community advocates everywhere have spent years pushing policymakers to refine CRA ratings, arguing that the 1977 law has been rendered nearly useless because 99% of all banks and thrifts with $250 million of assets or more hold a "satisfactory" rating or better. To further delineate lenders' performances, they have pushed for a fifth rating category, tougher exams, or more data from lenders.

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