Chairman Pledges Continued Efforts to Promote Industry Diversity
DETROIT (Aug. 2, 2013) – National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman Debbie Matz, speaking today to the African-American Credit Union Coalition’s annual conference, said minority credit unions are essential to fostering economic diversity and opportunity in communities across America, particularly low-income and underserved communities.
Matz also reiterated NCUA’s commitment to supporting greater diversity in its own workforce and in credit unions throughout the nation.
“Minority credit unions perform an extremely important function,” Matz said. “They are often the only insured institutions serving low-income and underserved areas. Your being there—making loans to small businesses so they can provide jobs and offering loans so your members can buy a car or a home or send a child to college—has helped hard-working families in those communities pave a path towards financial security.”
Matz also reported on NCUA’s efforts to promote diversity, including:
“It’s very important to preserve, to the extent we can, both the special character and the number of minority credit unions serving their communities, especially in underserved communities,” Matz noted. “The policy proposed at our July Board meeting will align NCUA with federal law and the programs of other federal regulators to preserve minority depository institutions.”
The Board issued for public comment a proposed Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement providing the basis for creating a Minority Depository Institution Preservation Program. The program’s objectives would include:
Preserving current minority credit unions and encouraging new ones;
Providing technical assistance, training and educational programs; and
Preserving the minority character of the credit unions in cases of merger or acquisition.
Matz concluded by noting that 92 percent of minority credit unions are either small credit unions, with assets below $50 million, or have a low-income credit union designation. They are therefore eligible to assistance from the agency’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, including free consulting services and access to grants and low-interest loans from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by
the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise
federal credit unions. With the backing of the full
faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates
and manages the National Credit Union Share
Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of nearly 100
million account holders in all federal credit
unions and the overwhelming majority of
state-chartered credit unions. At
Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.