The Community Reinvestment Act and Silicon Valley Bank

In 1977 Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) calling for banks and thrift institutions to help meet the credit needs of all segments of the communities they serve, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking practices. What "triggers" CRA regulatory obligations for financial institutions is FDIC insured accounts, and performance under the CRA regulation is assessed by bank regulatory agencies only in those geographic areas where a financial institution accepts FDIC insured accounts through full-service branches. In the case of Silicon Valley Bank, those areas include:

  • Alameda County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Marin County
  • Santa Clara County
  • The City and County of San Francisco
  • San Mateo County
  • Sonoma County
  • Napa County

Even though Silicon Valley Bank has technology, life science and wine clients located throughout the country, the bank regulatory agencies primarily assess Silicon Valley Bank's performance under the CRA regulation in the eight counties listed above.