A new federal credit union (FCU) sponsored by a community development financial institution (CDFI) has been chartered to serve the approximately 550,000-person community of Lancaster County in Lancaster, Pa., the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced Tuesday.
Called Community First Fund Federal Credit Union, the new institution is sponsored by the nonprofit Community First Fund and, according to the mission statement shared by the NCUA, intends to create financial equity through wealth-building opportunities for individuals and families, especially African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and women.
The second credit union chartered by the NCUA this year, Community First Fund FCU plans to begin operations by year-end, the agency said. Its charter was effective June 30.
NCUA Chairman Todd Harper, quoted in the agency’s release Monday, emphasized the importance of supporting underserved communities and community development. “Supporting underserved communities and providing capital for community development is at the core of the credit union mission. As our country’s newest federally insured credit union, Community First Fund will fulfill that purpose,” said Harper. “This credit union is opening in a time when the expansion of safe, fair, and affordable financial services and local investment is essential to the nation’s continued economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It’s a priority of my office to reform the de novo process,” said Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman. “We can’t credibly talk about ‘access’ and ‘inclusion’ unless we’re doing all that we can do to allow new, stable charters. I’m gratified that Community First, a non-profit CDFI, saw the benefits of forming a credit union. I hope other CDFIs will explore the credit union option, which is one reason we are publicizing this latest successful de novo charter.”
The NCUA said that in its first year of operations, Community First Fund FCU will offer regular share and share draft accounts, youth accounts, money market accounts, share certificates, direct deposit, vehicle loans, personal loans, overdraft lines of credit, online banking, and ATM access.
Future services will include credit cards and first mortgages, the NCUA said. The credit union plans to offer non-member deposits after it receives the agency’s low-income designation, the agency said.