NEW YORK -- NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland spoke before the fifth annual Financial Literacy Day, an event sponsored by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
In her remarks Hyland encouraged credit unions to be results-oriented in their financial literacy efforts and congratulated the Federation for being an active participant in the national effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy as an economic empowerment tool for individuals and communities.
The conference focused on multiple reasons for the importance of financial literacy, the role of credit unions in the community, and the progress that has been made over the last five years since the Federation began sponsoring the event. In addition to noting that financial literacy is an economic empowerment tool, speakers recognized that it could help people avoid becoming victims of predatory lending practices.
"The best approach to financial literacy is a results-oriented one, where credit unions connect their financial literacy outreach efforts to the products and services that meet their members' particular needs," Hyland suggested to the attendees. "An example of this is credit unions' involvement in the VITA program," in which credit unions assist their members in maximizing their tax options, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, she said.
Hyland detailed the efforts of the NCUA in facilitating credit unions' use of financial literacy as an important tool in adhering to their social mission. She highlighted the extent of the agency's technical assistance grants and loan funds from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and programs emanating from the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives as well as the role of Chairman JoAnn Johnson as chairman of the www.MyMoney.gov initiative, and other outreach programs.