Bill to allow lower-income residents to join credit unions passes NC House

It’s untenable for banks to both close rural branches and try to block other entities from serving rural residents. Measure also modernizes credit union statutes for the first time since the 1970s.

COLUMBIA, SC (April 27, 2023) — The NC House of Representatives today voted to pass House Bill 410, “Credit Union Update” by an 85-25 margin.

The bill grants permission to credit unions to accept as members people below the poverty line and residents of banking deserts.

Banks have closed more than 600 branches since 2011, many of them in rural parts of the state. Credit unions, which are not-for-profit cooperatives, have the right model and the desire to serve North Carolinians with dwindling financial services options. House Bill 410 would permit them to do so.

Dan Schline, CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union League, said, “I thank legislators for their support in granting permission to credit unions to serve consumers of modest means. Not-for-profit credit unions have served North Carolinians humbly and faithfully for more than 100 years, and we wish to continue that history.”

Some have suggested that House Bill 410 would allow “anybody in the world” to join a North Carolina credit union. But that’s not true. The bill extends membership only to those living below the poverty line and residents of “banking deserts,” defined as areas without a bank branch within roughly 200 square miles.

In addition to offering financial services to rural residents, House Bill 410 also:

  • Modernizes some credit union laws that haven’t been updated since the 1970s. For example, it allows credit unions to keep records electronically.
  • Streamlines the process through which state-chartered credit unions can gain permission to operate in ways already allowable for federally-chartered credit unions.
  • Strengthens the powers of the North Carolina’s credit union regulator, which also haven’t been updated since the 1970s.

What Are Credit Unions?

  • Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, offer loans, and provide other financial services. Unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, which means every depositor is an equal part-owner of the credit union.
  • As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions exist solely to serve their member-owners.
  • Credit unions return excess revenues to their members through higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and fewer fees.
  • Credit unions must receive either a state or federal charter to operate. They have offered professional, sound services since the early 1900s.
  • Who credit unions may accept as members, called “field of membership,” is limited by law.
  • Like other financial institutions, credit unions are subject to strict safety and soundness regulations.

About Carolinas Credit Union League

The Carolinas Credit Union League is the not-for-profit association of credit unions throughout North and South Carolina. Established in 2014 with a commitment to the cooperative spirit, the Carolinas Credit Union League is credit unions’ primary advocate and much more, promoting their success through risk and compliance resources, professional development, product and service enhancements, and back-office support.


Brandon Pugh
VP, Public Relations & Communications
Carolinas Credit Union League
800.822.8859, ext. 410

Courtney Jackson
Director, Integrated Communications
800-822-8859, ext 076

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