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Puerto Rico officials meet with financial institutions in NY

By on October 16, 2018

SAN JUAN – After having met with Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials on Monday, the Puerto Rico governor’s chief of staff, Raúl Maldonado, and the island’s chief investment officer, Gerardo Portela, held meetings with financial institutions and investment banks in New York on Tuesday as well.

“We discussed several important issues for Puerto Rico and for Governor Ricardo Rosselló. Among them, the Opportunity Zones approved under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the potential to channel investment through banks using the mechanism designed under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as well as existing collaboration agreements between the Reserve Bank and the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions,” said Maldonado, who was the island’s Treasury secretary.

Regarding the CRA, Reserve Bank officials mentioned the Interagency Statement on CRA Consideration for Community Development Activities in Puerto Rico issued earlier this year after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

“The CRA declaration allows any financial institution located in any state of the United States to invest in the development of the most affected communities in Puerto Rico, and that said investment is eligible for purposes of compliance with the provisions of the CRA,” said Portela, who was director of the island’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority.

Maldonado said that the Reserve Bank emphasized that the flexibility granted through the CRA declaration is still valid and represents a useful tool that allows banks and financial institutions to channel resources.

Federal Reserve Bank officials will travel to Puerto Rico next week to hold seminars for small and midsize businesses in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust.

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