WASHINGTON — The Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Credit Union announced that it has received certification from the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
The $38 million CU noted it joins more than 800 other CDFIs in the U.S., all of which have a "primary mission of promoting community development and provide development services in conjunction with its financing activities."
GPO said its new certification will help it to serve low- and moderate-income consumers with the goal being to "promote financial inclusion in Washington." Benefits of CDFI status include access to financial grants from the CDFI Fund, partnership opportunities with banks that are seeking Bank Enterprise Awards, access to New Market Tax Credits and the ability to raise funds from foundations, corporations and state and local governments.
GPO said that it worked with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions' consulting group, CU Breakthrough, on the CDFI certification process.
Before the CDFI certification, GPO had already been granted a low-income designation from NCUA, providing the CU with the option to accept deposits from non-members, offer secondary capital accounts and receive an exemption from the aggregate limit on member business lending.
"CDFI certification is a valuable credential that helps credit unions increase their capacity to meet the needs of low-income consumers and to develop strategic partnerships to better connect with the community," said Pablo DeFilippi, VP of Membership and Business Development at the Federation, in a statement. "Low income designation combined with CDFI certification are the building blocks for sustainable growth in communities in Washington, D.C."
Timothy L. Anderson, the CEO of GPO, stated that the certification "is enormous for the credit union. It provides an opportunity to secure grant funding to further serve those in our communities with low to moderate incomes, as well as offer enhanced products and services to compete with the copious pay day lenders. At [GPO] we view financial services as a right for everyone, not just for a privileged few."
Noting that GPO recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, Anderson added that several representatives of the credit union's community partner organizations, including the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, Mission First Housing/Columbus Property Management, Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative, and Friendship Public Charter Schools, attended the anniversary gala celebration.
"[GPO] works with these DC-based organizations to bring financial literacy and affordable financial services to their employees, residents, clients, students and families," Anderson said. "Our CDFI Certification will serve to enhance the credit union's outreach efforts with these and others in the community."