Citi funds tech, leadsership programmes for community credit unions

Source: The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions

The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) today announced two far-reaching initiatives that invest in the future of community credit unions.

Funded by $375,000 in contributions from Citi Community Development, both initiatives will help build the systems and the leadership needed to continue delivering high-quality financial services to low- and moderate-income communities in the U.S.

Today, the average age of CEOs at community development credit unions is nearly 60 and the median age for credit union members is 47. To ensure that credit unions continue to focus on developing a pipeline of future leaders to better serve members of all ages, particularly younger members, the Federation has created a program called Cooperative Finance Leaders for America (CFLA). A $125,000 contribution from Citi will fund six-month fellowship programs in up to 15 participating credit unions serving some of the most impoverished and financially underserved communities in the country. CFLA's intensive training program will include a two-week summer institute, including one week of in-person training in New York City, online training, and ongoing support throughout the six-month program.

Simultaneously, an additional $250,000 in support from Citi will enable the Federation to create uniform, shared procedures for back-office processing and services, including technical support, member service and accounting support teams. The new procedures will increase efficiency and enable consistent delivery of services to millions of families who now have limited access to affordable financial products and services.

The Federation's network includes 250 community development credit unions in 46 states, serving over 2.2 million predominantly low- and moderate-income customers.

"Community development credit unions empower low-income families to gain access to essential financial services. This is about building the right platform for credit unions to help low-and moderate-income people achieve financial independence," said Federation CEO Cathie Mahon.

"Community development credit unions fill a critical gap in access to banking services and credit for low-income and minority communities," said Bob Annibale, Citi Global Director of Community Development and Microfinance. "Developing future leadership talent with the skills necessary to connect with and serve a diverse customer base is critically important to the future growth of credit unions across the country. Similarly, streamlining and standardizing the processing of information and activity will ensure that credit unions continue to meet the needs of underserved customers."

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