National Blueprint Eyed For Serving TheUnderserved

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MILWAUKEE - (10/20/04) -- The Filene Research Institute signeda partnership with Brewery CU here Tuesday to develop acomprehensive plan for serving low-income communities and theunbanked they hope will be used as an informal guideline by creditunions across the country. The goal is to introduce such lifelineservices such as check cash, payday lending and wire transfers forunderserved residents of this community on the edge of the city,which is populated by several low-income neighborhoods, accordingto James Schrimpf, president of the $17 million credit union. Someof the programs that will be explored will include servingnon-member with wire transfers or check cashing, somethingWisconsin credit unions were allowed to do under last year's creditunion reform bill, he said. He cited a number of other services hiscredit union could offer that are now provided by check cashing andpayday loan outlets, like the sale of postage stamps and officesupplies, or bill paying. "We want to show if credit unions takethe initiative to serve the underserved, not only will it work ourfor the people we're serving, but it can work out for the creditunion itself," Schrimpf told The Credit Union Journal.

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