The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published the latest edition of its Community Developments Investments newsletter, “Strengthening Communities With Opportunity Zone Investments.”

This edition of Community Developments Investments explains how banks can support distressed communities by making investments in tax-advantaged qualified opportunity funds (QOF) as part of their community development strategies. For example, the newsletter highlights transactions in which a national bank created and sponsored its own QOF. The newsletter also highlights banks that invested in QOFs sponsored by third-party intermediaries. The newsletter discusses tools that banks can use to evaluate the social and economic benefits created by QOF-financed projects in designated opportunity zones.

Earlier in 2020, the OCC published a banker-oriented fact sheet on opportunity zones. The fact sheet explains how the tax benefit operates, outlines the risks and regulatory considerations of QOF investments, and discusses how QOF investments will be considered under OCC’s recently revised Community Reinvestment Act regulations.