WASHINGTON – The National Community Reinvestment Coalition keptup its periodic attack on credit unions for allegedly not doingenough to serve low-income communities in 2005, thus helping tokeep the topic alive. NCRC is the umbrella group of more than 800groups and institutions, including the National Federation ofCommunity Development Credit Unions and a few individual creditunions. The organization previously sued the NCUA over how theagency revoked its Community Action Plan regulation which wouldhave imposed a rule similar to bank Community Reinvestment Actregulations on credit unions. In May, NCRC issued Credit Unions:True To Their Mission?, a report that it claimed documented thefailure of credit unions of over $100 million in assets toadequately serve low-income members or communities. “NCRC's studyfinds that large credit unions are failing in their originalpromise to their members,” NCRC president John Taylor said at apress conference announcing the report. “Big credit unions lagbehind banks and thrifts in lending to credit-worthy, hardworking,low-income and minority Americans – the very communities they wereestablished to serve. Isn't it time to hold these non-profitbank-like financial institutions accountable?” Taylor and the NCRCdefined large credit unions as those above $100 million in assets,citing the General Accounting Office Report of 2003 which foundthat while 89% of credit unions in the U.S. have fewer than $100million in assets, the remaining 11% control 75% of the industry'sassets. The report also asserted that a greater percentage ofhouseholds of low- or moderate-income are bank customers thancredit union members. But Cliff Rosenthal, executive director ofthe National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions saidthat Taylor and the NCRC had neglected to consult CDCUs about thenew report. Further, when questioned at the podium about why NCRChad issued the report, Taylor claimed it had been because membersorganizations of the NCRC had tried to work with local creditunions and been rebuffed, a claim that the NCRC neversubstantiated. Later, in July, someone leaked the minutes of anNCRC meeting at which Taylor and others discussed their variousdegrees of success in approaching banker groups for help in thecampaign to force credit unions under some form of CRA. -

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[email protected] Sunrise, Florida-based Broward SchoolsCredit Union dropped the “schools” with the hope that BrightStar CUwould have a broader appeal. CUNA Credit Union finally beat theconfusion its name created in Madison, Wisconsin by transforminginto Great Wisconsin CU. In Garden City, New York Nassau CountyFederal Credit Union took the name Nassau Financial CU to bepositioned for future growth and more representative of itsexpanded market area. After some 51 years Wyoming Employees FederalCredit Union in Cheyenne has become Meridian Trust FCU. In a bidfor broader appeal Monterey Park, California-based Energy FirstCredit Union became E1 Financial CU. Springfield Teachers CreditUnion in Massachusetts kept it simple and became STCU Credit Union.In Northfield, N.J. FAA Technical Center Federal Credit Unionslipped into the more relaxed Jersey Shore FCU. Littleton,Colorado-based Johns Manville Credit Union found it became moreinclusive with the switch to Colorado CU. After 70 years KraftFoods Federal Credit Union in Purchase, N.Y. decided that with anew expanded field of membership Quorum FCU would serve best.Spokane, Washington-based Telco Credit Union opted to change withthe times with its new name PrimeSource CU. Sneak Peek at 2006Oregon-based Portland Teachers Credit Union will become OnPoint CUJanuary 1, 2006. The new year will also ring in John DeereCommunity Credit Union as Veridian CU.

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