The NCUA is working to advance economic equity and justice by supporting minority depository institutions and ways in which to close the wealth gap, said Todd Harper, NCUA chairman on Wednesday.
Harper discussed the agency’s diversity efforts at the Inclusiv Virtual 2021 Conference. Inclusiv is a strategic partner of the New York Credit Union Association.
“When I became chairman earlier this year, I said the NCUA must work to advance economic equity and justice,” he said. “One way we are achieving that goal is through our support of minority depository institutions, or MDIs, which play an essential role in providing safe and affordable financial services to underserved communities, many of which were especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Harper said it is “vital work,” and he is fully committed to supporting MDIs by providing them with needed resources like training, grants, loans, technical assistance and mentoring opportunities.
Further, Harper said that through the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, the NCUA continues to fund MDI mentoring partnerships, and these mentoring grants help bring MDI credit unions facing challenges together with more experienced credit unions that can provide guidance and technical assistance.
By enhancing support for MDIs, enforcing fair lending laws, addressing disparities in the appraisal system and advancing initiatives to close the wealth gap, inequalities created by centuries of systemic discrimination and exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic can be addressed, he said.
“We can also ensure the credit union system lives up to its mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, including those of modest means. The result will be a more vibrant economic outcome for everyone, and a stronger democracy,” Harper said in closing.
“I know that these issues are at the heart of what Inclusiv and its members seek to achieve each day. Please stay focused on that work.”
The full text and a video of Harper’s remarks are available on the NCUA website.