MBL, FOM changes would help CUs advance financial inclusion

March 10, 2021

Credit Unions are mission-driven and well-positioned to address inequity and advance financial inclusion and in the financial services sector, CUNA wrote to House Financial Services Committee leadership Wednesday. CUNA notes that women- and minority-owned businesses (MWBEs) face barriers when it comes to access to credit and financial services, a situation made worse by the pandemic.

“Credit unions are committed to financial inclusion and access. MDI and CDFI credit unions play a critical role in advancing financial inclusion and the economic well-being of their members, including MWBEs,” the letter reads. “We are pulling together as a movement to support our members and make a difference in their lives during this difficult moment, but we know that, given the opportunity, we could do more, especially when it comes to providing access to capital to America’s small businesses.”

CUNA offers two suggestions for Congress to help credit unions increase service to MWBEs:

  • Ensure that all available small business credit is deployable during the recovery by at least temporarily removing the member business lending cap for emergency-related loans. CUNA estimates this would free up more than $5 billion in capital, creating nearly 50,000 jobs at no cost to the federal government; and
  • Facilitate the addition of underserved areas to credit unions’ fields of membership by considering legislation that expands the opportunity to serve underserved communities to all Federal credit unions.