Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bensten's recent indication that the Clinton administration would support special treatment for Community banks under the Community Reinvestment Act comes not a minute too soon. In discussions with l wide range of community bankers, we find CRA compliance to be the single regulatory issue that most frustrates and indeed outrages senior management.

Banks and savings and loans are required by the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to help meet the needs of minorities and the poor in their service areas. But just how local banks should be living up to these obligations has become a matter of hot debate.

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