The $1.1 billion, 99,000-member MECU of Baltimore has become the latest credit union to have been recognized as a community development financial institution by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The designation makes MECU eligible to apply for funds from the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund. The fund distributes money to CDFIs, both banks and credit unions, to support their development efforts in their local communities.
The Treasury Department's Community Development Capital Initiative led to a upsurge in the numbers of CUs becoming recognized as CDFI's.
"I am very proud that MECU received this designation," said Bert J. Hash Jr., CEO of MECU. "It will help us expand our mission of serving the underserved of Baltimore and reflects the credit union mission of people helping people. Most CDFIs, whether they are credit unions or have another type of business structure, are small. MECU, with over $1 billion in assets, is the second largest credit union in the United States to receive this designation. This gives us the ability to reach further into the community."
To obtain the certification, MECU secured technical assistance from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, a trade association based in New York City that represents the vast majority of the more than 200 credit unions that are currently certified as CDFIs.
"We congratulate MECU for pursuing CDFI certification, which represents an official recognition of the groundbreaking work they have been doing for many years to bring affordable financial services to low-income consumers and underserved communities," said Pablo DeFilippi, the federation’s membership director.
The title of largest CDCU in the country, in terms of assets, currently goes to GECU in El Paso, Texas, at $1.8 billion.