Community Development Unit
The Community Development Unit is responsible for the Department's CRA exam support, and bank application reviews with respect to CRA and fair lending. Community Development also manages and administers the Banking Development District Program.
Education and Outreach Activities:
Community Development has primary responsibility for outreach in connection with CRA and Fair Lending. Community Development conducts and participates in meetings, seminars and conferences designed to share useful information and resources with banks, community organizations and consumers. Community Development also facilitates the development of partnerships that revitalize and stabilize low and moderate income communities and provides input on the development of regulatory and policy initiatives that involve consumer-related concerns or effect low to moderate-income geographies in New York State. Community Development also provides input on the development of regulatory and policy initiatives that involve consumer-related concerns or effect low to moderate-income geographies in New York State.
Examination Support Activities:
Community Development provides a critical support to the Department’s CRA examination function by providing ongoing technical assistance to examination staff with regards to community development and performance issues. On a quarterly basis, Community Development, on behalf of the Department, publishes an examination schedule of upcoming examinations.
A bank's CRA examination report is public information, and can be obtained either from the bank itself, or from the Department. Once examination ratings have been finalized, the Department posts the ratings on the Department’s website. The public is strongly encouraged to submit comments concerning a bank’s performance and you can email
Application Review Activities
Community Development reviews banks’ CRA and Fair Lending performance records in connection with certain applications (i.e. mergers, branch openings, etc.). Depending on the nature of the application, an application review typically involves an analysis of various data pertaining to the bank’s mortgage lending, small business and community development activities.
Applications are published in the Department’s Weekly Bulletin and assigned a 10 to 30 day comment period, depending on the Department’s policy for the specific type of application. During this time, the public is invited to submit written comments of relevance to the institutions’ CRA or Fair Lending performance. Community Development also reviews all notices by banks to close branches, pursuant to Section 28-c of the Banking Law. To see some answers to frequently asked questions about branch closings see Frequently Asked Questions about CRA.
The Banking Development District Program
Section 96-d of the Banking Law, entitled 'Banking Development Districts' is designed to encourage the establishment of bank branches in those areas where there is a demonstrated need for banking services. An aim of the BDD Program is to enhance access to financial services to consumers, who may have little or no banking relationship, and to promote local economic development. It is further anticipated that the establishment of a bank branch will provide a foundation to stimulate the local economy by enhancing access to capital for local businesses.
For more information about Community Development, CRA or the BDD program contact CommunityDevelopment@dfs.ny.gov