MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Faith-based credit unions are popping up all across the nation at an impressive pace, NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar told attendees of the 5th Annual National Faith-Based Credit Union Conference sponsored by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Thirteen of the 33 new federally-chartered or federally-insured credit unions since January 2000-representing 39%-were chartered by faith-based organizations. “In recognition of the role faith-based organizations can play in facilitating economic empowerment in their communities and in strong support of the President’s initiatives to create enhanced service opportunities for faith-based organizations, our successful Access Across America initiative has gone a long way toward achieving the goal of extending affordable financial services to more Americans who need it most,” Dollar said. “The number of newly-chartered credit unions with a faith-based field of membership is a tangible example of the response we are receiving from our efforts to encourage more new charters and greater use of the credit union model by faith-based organizations who consider financial empowerment to be a part of their mission.” He added that faith-based credit unions are part of the solution to the predatory lending, and check-cashing outlet problem, which is especially pronounced in low-income communities. Currently, there are 443 faith-based federal credit unions in the U.S. with assets of $2.69 billion nationwide.

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