Proposed rule change would allow banks to count sports stadium upgrades as helping the poor

Tim O'Donnell

Financing upgrades to NFL stadiums might soon count as helping the poor, Bloomberg reports.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, regulators appointed by President Trump to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act — a 1977 law designed to encourage U.S. banks to spend a portion of their money helping people in lower-income neighborhoods — drafted a list of hypothetical ways banks can meet the requirement, including improvements to stadiums.

"Investment in a qualified opportunity fund, established to finance improvements to an athletic stadium in an opportunity zone that is also [a low-or moderate-income] census tract," the proposal reads. (Several professional stadiums can be found in qualified zones throughout the country.)

Bloomberg notes the inclusion has already led to skepticism, but it's merely an idea at this point, and the proposal is open for public feedback. As people weigh in, Bloomberg reports, pressure may mount for the regulators to clarify what constitutes an "improvement" in this instance. For instance, banks skirting the law by financing a new video screen or sound system would likely face some resistance. Read more at Bloomberg.

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