[HELENA, MT—MARCH 13, 2014] Five Montana credit unions were among the 127 low-income credit unions across the nation that received will be able to offer new products, train the next generation of credit union leadership, and gain access to more resources to help their communities with grants awarded by NCUA.
McCone County FCU and Missoula FCU both received $2,500 grants to obtain CDFI Certification process. Big Sky FCU and Mountain West FCU each received $4,000 to support student internships, and SEG FCU received $7,500 to expand the services they provide their members into the mobile arena.
"At NCUA, we work each day to help low-income credit unions better serve their members and communities,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “The credit unions that receive these grants will be able to offer more services to members, more resources to their communities and more education for young people interested in financial services careers.”
The first Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant round in 2014 dispersed $517,890, and NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives administers the funds. Congress established the Revolving Loan Fund to provide grants and loans to credit unions serving low-income communities.
NCUA awarded grants for three initiatives, in the amounts shown for each.
|Grant Initiative||Number of Credit Unions||Total Awarded|
|New Product or Service||33||$209,500|
|CDFI Certification Initiative||40||$100,000|
A list of all the grantees is available online here.
“The new CDFI initiative, which provides grants to help credit unions obtain certification, is important because certified credit unions may apply for funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund,” OSCUI Director William Myers said. “That funding provides support to institutions like credit unions that serve low-income people and communities that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services.”
A majority of the grants for new products are in the area of mobile services, reflecting a shift in how credit union members conduct business.
“It’s important that credit unions offer up-to-date technology to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry,” Matz said.
Myers added that the 54 student internships funded by the grants will help high school and college students gain professional experience in financial services.
In this round, 320 credit unions submitted grant applications to NCUA with more than $2.3 million in funding requests.
NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions and credit unions with a low-income designation. Credit unions may stay informed of grant news by subscribing to OSCUI’s monthly e-newsletter FOCUS, which features articles, announcements and advice for small, low-income and new credit unions.