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Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union expands with help from CUCollaborate

Bragg Mutual FCU was recently approved to add two underserved areas to its service area, increasing potential membership by over 1.39 million

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 15, 2022) — On January 25, 2022, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) approved Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union (FCU)’s addition of two underserved areas comprising a total of 301 census tracts to its field of membership (FOM).

Bragg Mutual FCU, a multiple common bond institution based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in Cumberland County, had been looking to expand its service beyond the traditional geographic footprint they had served for the last 70 years.

The credit union’s membership stood at just under 10,000 members, which was spread across select employee groups in various North Carolina counties and a single underserved area covering 14 census tracts. “Expanding,” explained Steve Foley, Bragg Mutual’s President and CEO, would “allow us to grow, but also fill the need to provide local financial services into many rural communities in various census tracts in North and South Carolina.

“The financial needs of families and community groups everywhere are constantly evolving,” he continued, “and our mission has always been to support our members as they walk through their financial lives.” Attaining membership growth, however, wouldn’t be possible without expanding beyond their current FOM restrictions.

To address this desire FOM expansion, the credit union enlisted the help of CUCollaborate, which specializes in field of membership consulting services specifically for the purpose of helping institutions expand their FOM with their regulator. Working together, the adding of underserved areas was identified as the best path towards growth, a strategy that culminated in submitting an ultimately successful application for expansion to the NCUA.

Under a multiple common bond charter, an institution has the option of adding well-defined local communities and/or rural districts to an FOM, provided they qualify as “underserved.” To do so, an area must meet certain standards of economic distress, have proven unmet financial needs and be underserved by other depository institutions.

In this case, the company helped Bragg Mutual to prove the areas to be added indeed met all these standards, as well as the institution’s ability and commitment to serving potential new members immediately.

“Over the past three years Bragg Mutual has already proven the success of our business model by almost doubling the assets of the credit union,” said Mr. Foley. “We believe our credit union fills a gap of financial providers in these rural parts of North and South Carolina, and bringing our services to reach more of these communities will only help us improve the financial relationship options for those who will truly benefit from them.”

The move itself sees the additions of two underserved rural districts, each made up of contiguous census tracts spread across both North and South Carolina. The combined areas, with an estimated population of over 1.39 million, have the potential to increase Bragg Mutual’s field of membership substantially.

CUCollaborate founder and CEO Sam Brownell was naturally pleased by the end result. “We are of course thrilled for Bragg Mutual and thankful to have played a role in their success,” he said. “Above all, the credit union has now greatly increased its potential field of membership, which will allow it to offer its services on an entirely new scale. This progress and expansion are key for any institution looking to grow and again we are grateful they trusted us to be a part of the process.”


About CUCollaborate

CUCollaborate is a consulting, software development, and digital marketing company whose mission is to help credit unions grow. CUCollaborate primarily focuses on addressing credit union’s biggest obstacle to growth, field of membership.

About Bragg Mutual FCU

Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution serving members and business partners in both North and South Carolina. Originally chartered in 1952, it is fourth-oldest credit union based in North Carolina and is headquartered in the city of Fayetteville, NC.

Contacts

Sam Brownell
CUCollaborate
sbrownell@cucollaborate.com

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