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Joint Press Release
March 26, 2020

Federal agencies encourage banks, savings associations and credit unions
to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small
businesses affected by COVID-19
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
National Credit Union Administration
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
For release at 12:00 p.m. EDT
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Five federal financial regulatory agencies today issued a joint statement encouraging banks, savings
associations and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in
response to COVID-19.
The statement of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency recognizes that responsible small-dollar loans can play an important role in
meeting customers' credit needs because of temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or
income disruptions during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries. Such loans can be offered
through a variety of structures including open-end lines of credit, closed-end installment loans, or
appropriately structured single payment loans.
The agencies state that loans should be offered in a manner that provides fair treatment of consumers,
complies with applicable laws and regulations, and is consistent with safe and sound practices.
For borrowers who experience unexpected circumstances and cannot repay a loan as structured, banks,
savings associations and credit unions are further encouraged to consider workout strategies designed to
help borrowers to repay the principal of the loan while mitigating the need to re-borrow.
This statement follows other actions taken by the agencies to encourage financial institutions to meet the
financial services needs of their customers and members who have been affected by COVID-19. For
example, the federal banking agencies issued a joint statement on March 19 informing institutions that the
agencies will favorably consider retail banking and lending activities that meet the needs of affected low- and
moderate-income individuals, small businesses, and small farms for Community Reinvestment Act purposes,
that are consistent with safe and sound banking practices and applicable laws, including consumer protection
laws.
In addition to today's statement, the agencies are working on future guidance and lending principles for
responsible small-dollar loans to facilitate the ability of banks, credit unions, and saving associations to more
effectively meet the ongoing credit needs of their customers, members, and communities.

Joint Statement Encouraging Responsible Small-Dollar Lending in Response to COVID-19
(PDF)

Media Contacts:
Federal Reserve Board
CFPB
FDIC
NCUA
OCC

Last Update: March 26, 2020

Susan Stawick
Marisol Garibay
Brian Sullivan
Ben Hardaway
Bryan Hubbard

202-452-2955
202-435-7170
202-412-1436
703-518-6333
202-649-6870


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102