Credit unions play a significant role in their communities and the everyday lives of people. So, the work is done, the credit union mission fulfilled, right? Actually, far from it. Current financial products and programs are insufficient and do not provide equal access.

While credit unions do fill a very needed role in the financial services sector, as an industry, credit unions have a gap in how their products and services are taken up in BIPOC communities and in building trust for their institutions among these communities. Likewise, there is great opportunity for credit unions to take intentional steps to fundamentally change the way they work to drive equitable progress by reimagining how they use their assets and capabilities.

The Gap

Credit unions have not seen equitable outcomes for recipients of financial products and services focused on economic mobility, credit and capital access, and asset building. Reasons for these are racial, ethnic, cultural and include a failure to invite community members to develop or select the interventions that would benefit them.

Increasingly, leaders in the credit union industry are bringing action-oriented mindsets and strategies to internal and external transformation goals especially when it comes to advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion, and helping to close racial equity gaps. And, they have recognized that their traditional ways of working to develop products and services for communities of color is not sufficient.

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