MSN Money article features Hope FCU 'pioneer' Bynum
April 8, 2015
JACKSON, Miss. (4/9/15)--MSN Money recently featured a profile of Bill Bynum, president/CEO of Hope FCU and Hope Enterprise Corp., Jackson, Miss.
The article celebrated Bynum for providing accessible financial services to an area largely underserved by banks.
"Like the food deserts that plague inner cities, the Mississippi Delta may as well be the Sahara when it comes to banks, leaving its inhabitants, largely poor and black, prey to predatory lenders," the article said. "Except, that is, in places in the South where one man, Bill Bynum, has livened the stark financial forecast by setting up a thriving community credit union, with a dozen branches that lend to people and businesses that most banks would avoid."
"The wealthy have personal bankers, but the people who need them most don't have access," Bynum told MSN Money.
The article describes how Bynum built Hope from a $1.5 million small-business fund into a thriving community-development financial institutions. "All of this at a time when other banks have been fleeing with a vengeance a region that stretches from Tennessee to Arkansas to Louisiana," the article said.
Michael Barr, a professor of law at the University of Michigan, called Bynum a pioneer. Bynum sees himself as a civil rights activist.
The article cites a Bloomberg report that shows, since 2008, banks have closed nearly 2,000 branches, 93% of which were in low-income communities.
It also illustrates the impact of the work of Bynum and Hope FCU, citing employees at the Moore Community House, a nonprofit that provides early childhood education, that no longer have to seek out payday lenders when they need emergency funds.
Working with Hope FCU, Moore Community House employees can pay back loans through payroll deductions, with the stipulation that they open a checking account and get financial counseling.