The green tracts shown in this map of the Washington area are considered underserved tracts that a credit union could apply to serve under the new FOM rules.

When community charters were permitted for credit unions, many thought it would be a panacea. Others thought opening up credit union fields of membership so credit unions compete against each other would be the end of the industry as we know it. Both camps were wrong. Multiple common bond credit unions have a huge opportunity to grow by getting back to their roots to serve underserved communities.

The term underserved communities has a negative connotation with financial institutions and more specifically their leaders. Thinking that opening up your members and their capital to underserved areas means only adding the unbanked and often subprime borrowers is wrong.

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