Press Releases
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Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
Press Release
For Immediate Release September 30, 1997

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today announced the availability of data on small business, small farm, and community development lending reported by large commercial banks and savings associations (savings banks and savings and loan associations) subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The regulations that implement the CRA were substantially revised in 1995 to make CRA assessments more performance-based, more objective, and less burdensome. One of the more significant changes to the regulation requires larger commercial banks and savings associations to collect and report data regarding the geographic location of their small business and small farm lending. From these data submissions, the FFIEC prepares a disclosure statement for each institution, in electronic form, as well as an aggregate disclosure report for each of the 332 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and each of the nonmetropolitan counties in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The 1996 data reflect originations and purchases of small business and small farm loans from 2,078 institutions, including 1,744 commercial banks and 334 savings associations. (See attached fact sheet and related tables.)

These institutions include independent institutions with total assets of $250 million or more and institutions of any size if owned by a holding company that has assets of $1 billion or more. A total of 2.4 million small business loans, totaling $147 billion, and 216,000 small farm loans, totaling $10 billion were reported for 1996. The majority of small business loans (56 percent) and most small farm loans (88 percent) were extended to firms with revenues of $1 million or less. The vast majority of small business and small farm loans (about 87 percent) were for amounts under $100,000. Regional variation in the number and amount of small business and small farm lending closely follows differences in the number of business establishments, farms, and farm revenues across the nine U.S. Census regions. Variation in small business lending across census tracts grouped by income generally aligns with the distribution of the population across these areas. The majority of small farm lending occurs in middle-income areas. Small business loans are heavily concentrated in central city and suburban areas, as is the U.S. population. Most small farm loans (about 74 percent) are in rural areas.

For 1996, 1,156 of the 2,078 lenders reported community development lending that totaled nearly $18 billion. A community development loan has as its primary purpose community development and has not been reported as a home mortgage (under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)), small business, or small farm loan (unless it is a multifamily dwelling loan). Community development includes affordable housing for low- or moderate-income individuals, activities that promote economic development by financing small businesses and small farms, or activities that revitalize and stabilize low- or moderate-income geographies. The typical community development loan ($542,000) was relatively large, compared to the average small business and small farm lending ($61,000 and $48,000 respectively).

The aggregate disclosure statements underlying these summary statistics will be available for public inspection at central depositories throughout the nation. The FFIEC makes CRA data available in hardcopy and on CD-ROM. The FFIEC also provides annual data on home mortgage loans as required by HMDA. A HMDA/CRA data order form and the location of the central depository for an MSA are available on the Internet at An order form for CRA items, with descriptions of the various reports and formats available, is attached to this release.


Fact Sheet on 1996 Data (with tables)
CRA Data Order Form