WASHINGTON – Credit unions and other financial institutions wanting to participate in the Treasury Department's First Accounts Program can submit applications beginning December 27 through March 20, according to the notice published in the Federal Register.

The program's goal is to involve more `unbanked' and moderate-and low-income households in the financial services arena. The program will provide up to $8 million in aggregate grants to qualified, insured depository institutions. Eligible institutions include, but are not limited to, insured depository institutions, financial services electronic networks, employers of `unbanked' moderate- and low-income persons, community development financial institutions, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, Indian Tribal Governments, and labor organizations.

Funds will only be given to projects that intend to begin new activities or expand existing ones and, at a minimum, propose to provide low-cost electronic, checking or other types of accounts to the `unbanked.'

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