FCUs Set Record For Adding Underserved Areas

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Federally chartered credit unions set a new record for service to underserved and low-income markets during 2003, according to NCUA. The agency said that last year FCUs expanded to serve markets of 25.1 million potential members.

During 2003, 170 federal credit unions were approved to serve 269 underserved areas, bringing the total over the past three years to 558 FCU's OK'd for such expansions into 975 underserved areas totaling 64.7 million potential members.

"Through our Access Across America initiative, America's credit unions have made unprecedented steps in providing economic empowerment opportunities in almost a thousand communities otherwise lacking sufficient access to affordable financial services," said NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar.

Dollar added that the agency's faith-based credit union initiative resulted in approximately 404,000 Americans having access to faith-based credit union services as a result of these institutions adopting underserved neighborhoods in close proximity to their locations. More than 700,000 residents have become eligible for these credit unions since 2002, the agency said.

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