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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-More than 12.5 million potential members in underserved areas have been added to credit unions’ fields of membership through Access Across America so far this year, according to NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar. The agency’s mid-year statistics show that through June 30, 2003, 90 federal credit unions in 31 states added 135 underserved areas. Dollar pointed out that over 37% of the credit unions that added underserved areas had less than $50 million in assets. “I believe, without question, that Access Across America has been the most successful agency initiative in recent history that had the goal of extending credit union services into more underserved areas – and we can see that it has actually made a significant impact in the affected neighborhoods,” Dollar said. “While serving the underserved is a noble cause within itself, these credit union results have indeed demonstrated that a visionary institution with a heartbeat for service can also make an indelible mark on their communities, even as they are diversifying their risk and membership base.” Each year since Access Across America’s inception, the number of potential members added in underserved areas has increased even greater than the year before. In 2002, 223 federal credit unions adopted 424 investment areas for a total of 23.5 million potential members. In 2001, the program’s first year, 164 federal credit unions adopted 281 underserved areas with 16.1 million potential members. According to data previously compiled by the NCUA, federal credit unions that adopt underserved areas increase their actual membership 93% faster than the national average for credit union membership growth. Credit unions in the state of Texas lead the way with 30 underserved areas added and the largest underserved area adoption (679,622) by El Paso Teachers Federal Credit Union.

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