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NCUA extends application deadline for MDI mentoring grants

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Credit unions looking to apply for minority depository institution mentoring grants from the National Credit Union Administration will have an extra month to submit their applications.

The agency on Tuesday pushed the deadline back from June 30 to July 31. The grants were originally announced in April. NCUA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the delay, but the agency has issued multiple delays since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading this spring, including pushing back comment deadlines for proposed rules, extending the deadline for call report filing and more.

For each MDI grant awarded, the regulator will administer up to $25,000 in funding for MDI credit unions to establish mentoring programs between large and small low-income-designated CUs.

In order to be eligible for the grant, both mentor and mentee institutions must be low-income designated through the NCUA or a similar state designation confirmed by the NCUA. Both parties must also have a CAMELS composite rating of three or better, but no more than one CAMELS component rating of four.

“Rural and underserved communities will be especially hard hit by the financial and economic disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and these are the areas that minority depository institutions predominately serve,” NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood said in an April statement. “This mentoring program provides needed resources to help minority depository institutions continue to support the needs of their members and communities during this difficult time.”

Efforts to preserve MDIs have been a priority for NCUA. In 2019 the credit union regulator awarded nearly $75,000 in its MDI pilot mentoring program to three sets of credit unions.

The number of MDI credit unions continues to decline, according to NCUA’s Preserving Minority Depository Institutions report released this month. The credit union regulator oversaw 514 MDIs in 2019, down 3% compared to the year prior.

MDI credit unions serviced over 3.9 million members and issued $28.4 billion in loans in 2019, up 2% and 6%, respectively, compared to 2018.

In addition to chartering one new MDI credit union last year in Red Rock, Okla., NCUA also doled out $738,000 in technical assistance grants to 58 low-income-designated MDIs.

NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion oversees its Minority Depository Preservation Program, which provides those institutions with technical assistance, training, mentoring, merger help when needed, chartering assistance and more.

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