State Employees' CU Still Supports Microlending Bank's Efforts
The $21 billion State Employees' Credit Union said it would still assist with office support to a microlending bank should it move forward with a credit union charter in North Carolina.
Jim Blaine, president of SECU, previously said the credit union would be willing to provide accounting, processing, ATM access and statement rendering services to Grameen America Inc. if it secured a charter in North Carolina. Blaine said that is still the case.
"We continue to be interested in supporting their efforts," Blaine said, adding there have been no recent discussions with Grameen. "I believe Grameen may have found that it can work its model without a need for a charter."
Earlier this week, Leslie Kane, executive vice president of Grameen America, told Credit Union Times, pursuing a credit union charter is one long-term strategy the bank has considered in its efforts to become a large scale microfinance provider in the United States. In early 2009, the bank met with SECU, other credit unions, banking groups and regulators in North Carolina to discuss interest in opening an affiliate there. To date, Grameen America has not submitted a FCU charter application, the NCUA said.
Grameen America is the New York-based affiliate of Grameen Bank, a microlending bank founded in 1983 in Bangladesh that assists poor people with opening small businesses. Since then, Grameen Bank has disbursed more than $8 billion in loans worldwide, according to its website.