ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Considering the attention regulators and lawmakers pay to the underserved these days, it was no wonder NCUA Vice Chairman Rodney Hood dropped in on United Services Credit Union here last month.

Indeed, in everything from extending loans to the blind to retaining seven bilingual staffers who can speak Filipino, Spanish or Russian, the $30 million Asheville CU has been a Southeast leader in reaching out to low- and middle-income people in unique ways.

"When I saw that economic report put out in 2004 by the North Carolina Bankers Association about $8 billion in potential Hispanic business, I knew that was a direction we had to go to build member growth," explained Doug Roth, the president/CEO of United Services.

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