WASHINGTON (1/20/16)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and U.S. Treasury Department will partner up to double the number of Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified, low-income credit unions in 2016. The two agencies are expected to sign a memorandum of agreement Jan. 21.
“Doubling the number of CDFI credit unions will allow significantly more low-income credit unions access to funding and technical assistance, available through the CDFI Fund, to serve underserved members and communities, and to expand financial products and services to them,” said NCUA Chair Debbie Matz. “We're excited about this agreement and eager to get to work on the implementation."
The Treasury certifies CDFIs as specialized financial institutions serving low-income communities. Certified CDFIs are qualified to apply for grants and training through the Treasury’s CDFI Fund.
“This unprecedented increase will expand safe and affordable financial products and services in underserved communities,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week at the HOPE Global Forums annual meeting.
“We are expanding the reach of our flagship CDFI Program to diversify the ways awards can be used for financial inclusion and raise awareness that CDFIs can partner with retail financial institutions to offer much-needed services.”
As of Nov. 30, there were 265 credit unions among the 968 certified CDFIs. (See related story: CU Effect: How CDFI CUs fill gap for underserved Native communities.)
Since the CDFI Fund was established in 1994, it has invested $157 million in credit unions through grants, investments and loans.