ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 9, 2021) – The National Credit Union Administration and federally insured credit unions must do all they can to advance economic equity and justice, NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper said today.
“Many minority-owned businesses and communities have been acutely affected by the suddenness and depth of the economic shock resulting from the lockdowns that were put in place to contain the spread of the virus,” Chairman Harper said. “By staying focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, credit unions can help ease the financial impact of COVID-19 and systemic racism on communities of color. And the end result will be a more vibrant economic outcome for everyone in society.”
Harper was the keynote speaker at a Town Hall hosted by Inclusiv, an organization whose mission is to help low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. His full remarks are available on the NCUA’s website.
In addition to speaking on economic equity and justice, Harper addressed minority depository institution preservation and the Treasury Department’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (opens new window) (ECIP), which he encouraged eligible credit unions to utilize.
“The ECIP aligns with the mission of the credit union movement to expand access to affordable financial services free of discrimination to those of modest means,” Harper said. “I believe this important program has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of many Americans. I strongly encourage eligible credit unions to tap into the program to support the communities they serve.”
Congress created the ECIP as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to help community-based financial institutions support consumers and local small businesses in low-income and underserved communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A federally insured credit union must be certified as a Community Development Financial Institution or minority depository institution to participate in the program.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are one of Harper’s four priorities as NCUA Chairman, along with capital and liquidity, consumer financial protection, and cybersecurity. “These priorities will guide NCUA decisions in addressing current economic and marketplace realities,” Harper said.