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WASHINGTON-NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar and Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson participated in the inaugural meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission created under the recently passed Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. During his remarks at the Jan. 29 hearing, the chairman pledged the full support of the agency and noted his appointment of Johnson to the commission as demonstrating the high priority this effort takes with the agency. “Before anyone can effectively achieve the financial self-sufficiency necessary to break the cycle of payday lending. and progress to building the credit base upon which to build an approvable application for a new vehicle or a home mortgage, they must first have a foundation of understanding of America’s mainstream financial system,” Dollar said. “We who are in that system have a responsibility to help more Americans understand that system and how to make it work for them.” The Financial Literacy and Education Commission is aimed at promoting financial education and coordinating efforts among the agencies. It will encourage government and private sector partnerships as well as identifying and promoting best practices. Dollar pointed to NCUA’s Access Across America initiative as promoting economic empowerment and the agency’s participation in FDIC’s Money Smart program. The agency has also formed partnerships with the Internal Revenue Service, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development among others. Through Access Across America, 558 federal credit unions have adopted 975 underserved areas adding 64.7 million potential members to credit unions’ fields of membership since 2001. The commission members set up two subcommittees: 1) to establish and maintain a toll-free number for financial education and 2) to set up and operate a Web site to show people where they can go for financial education resources. The number and Web site are required under the FACT Act. The law also calls for the development of a national strategy for promoting financial literacy and education. Other agencies on the commission include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; the Office of Thrift Supervision; the Federal Reserve; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Departments of Education, Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Federal Trade Commission; the General Services Administration; the Small Business Administration; the Social Security Administration; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and the Office of Personnel Management. [email protected]

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