The announcement came last week in an interagency statement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: financial institutions will receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for activities that revitalize or stabilize the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, regardless of where the financial institutions’ assessment areas are located. The policy is in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which led to President Trump designating the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as major disaster areas.

The FDIC clarified in a letter that this favorable consideration will only be given “as long as the institution has been responsive to the community development needs and opportunities of its assessment area(s)”. Activities in the disaster areas will further have no requirement regarding income, for either the census tract or the individual, though more weight may be given to serving low- and moderate-income areas and individuals.