Underserved Session Has Great Turnout

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More than 100 Iowa credit union representatives turned out for the first-ever Serving the Underserved Summit at the Iowa Events Center. Discussion centered on alternatives to payday lending, asset building for low-wealth households, serving persons with disabilities and opportunities in serving "undocumented" immigrants.

"This great turnout is a testament to credit unions' philosophy of 'people helping people,'" said Wendy Wicks, Director of Community Development for the Iowa Credit Union Foundation and Iowa Credit Union League. "Credit union executives, staff and board members gained new ideas and tools that they can use at their own credit unions to serve the financial needs of the underserved." NCUA Vice Chair Rodney Hood keynoted the meeting and discussed the state of the credit union industry in relation to serving the underserved, and shed light on the urgent need for credit unions to measure and document these activities.

Hood also addressed the importance of collecting quantifiable data about service, creating strategic partnerships with organizations outside of the credit union industry, and creating outreach programs for the underserved. "The needs of the underserved are far too extensive for credit unions to handle on their own. We need to form partnerships in order to be successful," he said.

Also during the conference, Iowa credit union attendees welcomed members from the Panamanian credit union movement who were in Des Moines visiting the Iowa league.

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