NCUA encourages credit union access through under-served area expansions

An NCUA letter to credit unions on Friday encouraged any credit union with a multiple common bond field of membership to expand their service to underserved areas.

“The underserved area expansion option for multiple common bond federal charters has enabled millions of consumers to gain access to affordable financial services,” said the letter from Rodney Hood, NCUA chairman. “In view of the challenging environment we are all facing due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever to continue making credit union access available to the greatest extent possible.”

The NCUA’s Chartering and Field of Membership Manual describes how a federal credit union can apply for approval to provide service to an underserved community. The process includes developing and submitting a business plan that specifies how the credit union will serve an underserved community.

To encourage credit union expansion in underserved areas, the NCUA created detailed guidance on how to create a business plan, and a pro forma financial statement template.

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