The 25,000-member Hope Community Credit Union in Jackson, Miss., is working with residents and officials in two Mississippi towns to help them retain access to banking services.

Bank branches in Utica and Edwards will close at the end of August and a coalition of community residents and leaders has approached Hope about the credit union moving in to provide affordable banking services, the CU said.

“According to the FDIC, a higher percentage of Mississippians are unbanked and underbanked than in other than in most other states,” said Hope CEO Bill Bynum.

“Everyone wants to live in a nice neighborhood, a good education for their kids, and a job that pays decent wages. Affordable and responsible financial services are key elements that help make these things possible,” Bynum said. “At Hope, we strive to make sure that people have access to these vital tools regardless of where they live.”

Hope has set up a temporary location in Utica to open accounts and will put a modular branch in place while the CU and the town finalize plans for a more permanent branch.

A meeting has been scheduled in Edwards for Aug. 22 to discuss establishing a Hope branch in that community, the $136 million CU said.