Washington CUs Collaborate On LatinoOutreach

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WASHINGTON - (02/27/06) – Three local credit unions willcap a joint effort Sunday aimed at expanding services to theunderserved with the grand opening of a branch to serve the Latinocommunity in Adams Morgan, which claims the largest population ofLatin immigrants in the Capital city. The collaborative branch isbeing called ‘Acceso,’ of access, by its threesponsors: District of Columbia Employees FCU, the Organization ofAmerican States Staff FCU and IDB-IIC FCU, who see it as a way tobring mainstream financial services to the neighborhood’sunderserved Latin immigrants. Adams Morgan and the adjacentneighborhoods of Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights are about 2%Hispanic and as many as half the residents do not have mainstreamcredit union or bank accounts, according to the three creditunions. The Accesso branch will feature low-cost IRnet remissionsto Latin America; will accept so-called consular cards to establishcredit union membership; and will evaluate credit risk on factorsother than credit scores, including rent payments or regularremittances. If successful, the organizing credit unions plan toexpand the Acceso theme to other heavily Hispanic areas in nearbyMaryland and Virginia.

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