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ARLINGTON, Va. – Stung by allegations they do not adequately serve lower and middle income members, credit unions around the country began scrambling to point out what they do and started doing more where possible. Coming on the heels of NCUA’s abandoning of the controversial Community Action Plan regulation, and a report from the Woodstock Institute alleging credit union inactivity with the poor, CUNA began surveying 2,400 credit unions about how they serve their low-income members in September. The results, which have yet to be released, will provide a benchmark picture of how credit unions are doing nationwide, said Bill Hampel, CUNA’s chief economist. But credit unions around the country did not wait for CUNA’s lead and widely began to reach out to low-income members and those without financial services living nearby. More federal credit unions than ever before took advantage of a streamlined NCUA application process to add underserved areas to their fields of membership and individual credit unions began getting involved with community development initiatives in their communities.

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