The question of “what is in a name” is a subject that has been hotly debated since William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. However, naming the newly minted office to be known as CURE is more than just symbolic. CURE, known as the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion, is part of NCUA’s strategic realignment and modernization of its offices and functions. Officially scheduled to launch on Jan. 7, 2018, CURE’s primary mission will be to assist credit unions through all the various stages of expansion and strategic development. In short, CURE’s charge is “let us help you grow.”
The Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion is the result of a reconfiguration and repurposing of the existing Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives and portions of our Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access. The new CURE office will be comprised of three consumer access divisions to help credit unions grow. It will also have one operations unit that will develop online training, manage our minority depository preservation program, and administer our grants and loans program, as well as other initiatives.
The consumer access divisions in CURE will provide support to any credit union, including low-income and minority credit unions, looking for assistance with chartering, charter conversions, by-law amendments, field-of-membership expansions, and navigating the low-income designation process. Our newly created access coordinators will be available to work with credit unions as they encounter challenges in completing required information, such as budgets, financial projections, and marketing plans. Access coordinators will also match a credit union’s needs with our available resources that align with its growth strategy. As an example, credit unions looking to expand into rural, underserved and low-income areas will also be informed of their eligibility for NCUA’s low-income designation, grants and loans, as well as the CDFI certification. If a credit union chooses to pursue any of these options, the access coordinators will guide them through the process.
The operations division of CURE will manage the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, the Learning Management Service, our CDFI-certification initiative and our minority depository institutions preservation program. Housed within this division, are newly created positions called curriculum coordinators who will focus on developing engaging, online training courses. The course curricula, designed to be dynamic and ever evolving, will be provided at no charge to credit unions through NCUA’s Learning Management Service. These courses will focus on operations, governance and regulatory topics, with CURE curriculum coordinators enlisting the expertise of subject matter experts throughout the agency.
Finally, a program specifically designed to preserve and grow minority depository institutions will focus on providing resources to assist these credit unions. These resources include connecting minority credit unions with other minority depository institutions for collaboration opportunities and developing specific training courses that meet the unique needs of these important institutions.
Whether it’s applying for a grant, navigating the CDFI-certification process, or getting help with your charter conversion or field-of-membership expansion, the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion will be there to help. Our staff looks forward to working with credit unions to find ways to work more effectively and efficiently, while providing a robust selection of resources and services.