Inclusiv, Hope Credit Union Call for Commission on Financial Inclusion
Credit union industry group and credit union among those demanding urgent action on financial inclusion.
More than 30 businesses and non-profits, including the credit union group Inclusiv and Hope Credit Union on Monday called on the Biden Administration to create a presidential commission to develop a national, interagency financial inclusion strategy.
Led by the Aspen Institute, a global non-profit organization, the groups, which also included several large banks, said in a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that gaps in financial inclusion require urgent action.
In the letter, the groups noted three Democratic senators, Sens. Christopher Coons of Delaware, Raphael Warnock of Georgia and John Hickenlooper of Colorado proposed such a commission last year, adding that they fully endorse that effort.
“While each sector is doing what it can to build an inclusive financial system to fully address the systemic barriers to financial inclusion, we need to coordinate meaningful action at the highest levels,” the groups wrote.
Technology May Only Widen Gap
The groups further claimed the U.S. has taken a fragmented approach to financial inclusion, adding that as the economy becomes more digitized, it becomes even more important that technology-driven systems be designed for financial inclusion.
“Making sure that every person in America has easy access to safe and affordable bank accounts, payment tools, saving and retirement accounts, credit, insurance, and safety net programs when needed would be a critical—and monumental—step toward an inclusive economy,” they stated.
Under the proposal, the commission would be a mix of senior government officials, members of historically excluded communities, consumer advocates and representatives of the financial services community.
The Credit Unions Groups Involved
Inclusiv, headquartered in New York City, is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) intermediary whose stated mission is: “To help low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions.” The association has long supported and advocated for its member community development credit unions, as well as provided both capital and other opportunities to help people living in distressed and underserved communities access financial services.
Hope Credit Union is part of the Hope Credit Union Enterprise Corporation, also a CDFI-Certified organization, whose stated mission is: “To strengthen communities, build assets and improve lives in economically distressed areas of the Deep South by providing access to high quality financial products and related services.”