Adhering to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations is mandatory. But it’s critical for banks to put a stake in the ground when it comes to giving back to their local communities—for reasons that extend beyond compliance. Yes, ad hoc efforts might fulfill CRA requirements, but organizations that develop and publicize comprehensive community engagement programs—both internally and externally—can achieve much more than simply checking off the compliance box.
A more holistic approach presents companies the opportunity to better serve their local communities through results-driven CRA initiatives.
Financial institutions typically engage in a variety of activities to help meet the credit needs of the local areas in which they operate, activities such as:
- Opening up new branches
- Offering credit counseling or financial education courses
- Setting up programs for people who may not qualify for certain types of loans
What financial institutions may not be doing is creating holistic programs around these separate activities, or effectively publicizing these efforts to better engage employees and attract more customers.continue reading »