Self-Help Pilots Micro Branch

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OAKLAND, Calif. – The Center for Community Self-Help, which operates two of the nation’s leading community development credit unions, has partnered with CitiCorp to introduce Self-Help’s Micro Branch – a check-casher/credit union hybrid model designed to provide responsible financial products and services for unbanked Californians.

It will be supported with a $200,000 contribution from Citi Community Development.

Self-Help FCU opened its first Micro Branch, which serves primarily Latino immigrants, in nearby San Jose, Calif., in January 2010. In addition to meeting financial service needs of low-income people, the credit union said the Micro Branch connects them with actionable education and asset-building products that create economic opportunity and security for the future.

According to Self-Help FCU, the Micro Branch provides critical asset-building opportunities including depository services; the chance to develop or repair credit ratings; and access to responsibly provided credit. To help clients take advantage of these opportunities, the Micro Branch model makes use of innovative, “in-line” financial education, in which bite-size financial management concepts are delivered at the teller line.

Citi’s support also will fund an analysis of the Micro Branch operating model and customer outcomes to explore how Self-Help and other Community Development Financial Institutions can replicate and scale the program.

 

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