Traiger & Hinckley, New York
To the Editor:
Whatever one's view of the proposed CRA Sunshine Rule and however burdensome it may prove in practice, the situation is not nearly as dire as reported in "Rules for CRA Range Further Than Expected" [May 16, page 1].
The article correctly indicates that the proposed reporting requirements apply to CRA-related agreements between banks and all nongovernmental entities, not just community groups. However, it fails to note that agreements to lend are covered only if funds are loaned at rates substantially below market or if the loan agreement involves re-lending to third parties. Accordingly, a bank will not need to report every CRA-related loan transaction, just some of those that are specifically done for CRA purposes.
The proposed CRA Sunshine Rule presents significant First Amendment issues and will likely cause headaches for banks, but it is not the regulatory migraine indicated in the article.
Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer who advises financial institutions on CRA and fair-lending matters.