Baltimore investment firm T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. must comply with the Community Reinvestment Act in order to be granted a thrift charter, according to the Office of Thrift Supervision.

T. Rowe Price is applying for the charter and sought an exemption from CRA because it plans to take deposits, but not make loans.

The request met with protests from Inner City Press/Community on the Move, a Bronx, N.Y. watchdog organization.

The OTS told T. Rowe Price that it must propose a means of satisfying the law and the company agreed to invest in mortgage backed securities and make contributions to Baltimore-area nonprofit housing organizations. Price is a leading provider of no-load mutual funds.

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