NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood recently spoke at the Defense Credit Union Council’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Notably, Hood said he believed credit unions are well-positioned to lead the way on improving access to affordable financial services in underserved communities.
“There are a lot of innovations that defense credit unions have pioneered to better serve members in far-flung postings around the world,” Hood said. “Those innovations might help us to get a better sense of how to target services to rural communities or other hard-to-reach places. I think the industry as a whole can learn a great deal from defense credit unions that have effectively met the challenges of diverse and highly mobile populations and those that have had limited interaction with traditional financial service providers.”
He also noted that there are dividing lines that separate way too many Americans from access to safe and affordable financial services, including age, disability and where a person lives. Hood explained that this is especially true in rural communities, where the withdrawal of financial institutions from rural communities over the last decade poses a serious threat to financial access for the people who still live there.
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