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ALEXANDRIA, Va.- NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar told attendees of the 70th Annual Membership Meeting of the Chevron Pascagoula Federal Credit Union that credit unions adopting underserved areas enjoy significantly higher growth rates in a number of categories. He credited his Access Across America initiative with getting the ball rolling. “NCUA data clearly shows that actual membership and total dollars of both savings and lending are markedly higher in federal credit unions adopting underserved areas than in the overall credit union community,” Dollar said. “Only the most cynical of critics could deny, in reviewing these numbers, that credit unions are going well beyond merely increasing their potential membership through these underserved neighborhood adoptions. In fact, federal credit unions are putting their money where their mouths are by signing up these underserved Americans as members, helping them meet their lending needs with lower cost loans, and establishing financial literacy programs that are leading more of them into the self-sufficiency of becoming personal savers.” The 494 federal credit unions that have adopted 1,021 underserved areas since Access Across America began four years ago have an average growth rate of 4.36%, 237% higher than that of all federal credit unions at 1.29%. In dollars, federal credit unions adopting underserved areas have experienced 13.46% savings growth in comparison to 10.32% of all federal credit unions. These federal credit unions’ loans have grown 12.50% in contrast to all other federal credit unions at 7.89%. “NCUA continues to look for ways to better analyze our existing data to demonstrate that federal credit unions are making a positive difference in these underserved neighborhoods and communities,” Dollar explained. Recently Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) has suggested credit unions should be collecting data on how they serve the underserved. However, Dollar said, “These numbers make a compelling case that the credit unions which have adopted underserved areas under our Access Across America initiative are making a positive difference in their neighborhoods by providing a lower cost alternative to the pawn shops and payday lenders that have become a mainstay in so many of these communities. Most importantly, the residents of these communities are taking advantage of the credit union alternative they are being provided, and the results are quite impressive.” [email protected]

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