NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Corp. said it will begin to look more closely at the community lending record of domestic banks in assigning credit ratings, reflecting the increasing importance that the Federal Reserve Board is placing on bank compliance with community lending and reinvestment guidelines.

Standard & Poor's is interested in whether banks are favorably regarded by their regulators, said Roger Taillon, managing director of international ratings.

|Could Be Meaningful'

"If the performance on the Community Reinvestment Act is going to have a considerable impact on whether the Federal Reserve allows an acquisition or not, it could be a meaningful credit factor over time," said Clifford Griep, managing director of domestic financial institutions.

It is unlikely that a bank's CRA performance would have anything but an indirect impact on the overall rating, the managing directors said.

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