Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) announced that she will co-sponsor a bill that “enables credit unions to expand their field-of-membership to anyone that belongs to a needy poor community.”
Moore's remarks came during the third day of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions' annual Congressional Caucus. NAFCU has pushed the issue out of a belief that many federally chartered CUs are converting to state charters because their states offer more progressive FOM options for credit unions.
Currently, only CUs with multiple-group charters may add underserved areas to their fields of membership, though NAFCU has pushed for a rule that would allow credit unions more flexibility to reach out to those markets and to modernize FOM rules. A proposed rule to broaden FOM expansion capabilities is currenlty pending before the National Credit Union Administration board.
Moore received applause as she told the story of how she organized Cream City Community Credit Union in Milwaukee as a single mother raising three kids. She said she believes CUs are more capable of serving low-income consumers.
“I thought it was tremendously outdated to confine the field-of-membership to just a certain geographic area and to not recognize that communities like my community—that I raised my three children in—were in need of a financial asset and institution within their community,” Moore said.
While Cream City Community FCU has been merged into another credit union, Moore said that their members “still get that personal touch.”