Federation and Coopera launch campaign to reach immigrants through credit unions

NEW YORK, NY (January 8, 2015) — Coopera and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) announce the launch of a national campaign to reach unbanked and underbanked immigrants in the US with credit union products and services linked to immigration and legalization efforts. Des Moines, Iowa-based Coopera consults with the credit union industry on the Hispanic market. The New York-based Federation helps low-income people of all races and ethnicities achieve independence through credit unions. This campaign will help credit unions act on President Obama’s recent Executive Order providing deportation relief for nearly half of the undocumented immigrants in the US today.

“Immigrants are a vibrant, dynamic part of our nation’s economy and represent a tremendous untapped and emerging market for credit unions, particularly those serving low- and moderate-income communities,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of the Federation. “Immigrant communities are quite heterogeneous in terms of their needs and interests in financial products and services. Members are consumers, homeowners, small business owners, and perhaps someday, large business owners.”

The campaign addresses immigrant needs regardless of country of origin but includes a special focus on Hispanic immigrants, the nation’s largest minority and one of the fastest growing. Events include webinars hosted by CUNA and roundtables in California, New York and Texas, states with some of the largest Hispanic populations in the US. Click on each event to learn more about topics, speakers and to register. Registration and details on the New York and Texas events will be available on the Coopera and Federation websites later this month.

Immigration Executive Order and Financial Inclusion Webinar: Part 1 – January 13, 2015
Speakers include a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official to provide credit union leaders with a comprehensive understanding of the Executive Order on Immigration plus information on the networks and providers that are mobilizing to serve immigrants right now.

Financial Inclusion for Immigrant Consumers: LA Roundtable –  January 16, 2015 in LA, CA
This roundtable agenda includes speakers from credit unions successfully serving legal and undocumented immigrants to city and non-profit immigration services and representatives of financial products and services specifically designed for immigrants.

Immigration Executive Order and Financial Inclusion Webinar: Part 2 – February 11, 2015
This webinar focuses on the Hispanic immigrant population, one of the fastest growing and most underserved in the US today. Attendees will learn about the immediate financial needs facing Hispanic immigrants as well as best practices for the launch of or expansion of credit union strategy to service this market.

“Regardless of the political nuance of the president’s action, these changes to the current immigration system have tremendous economic benefits for the country, including more job creation and tax revenue,” said Miriam De Dios, CEO of Coopera. “In addition, it means membership growth for credit unions. As undocumented immigrants are able to file for temporary immigration status and receive an identification card and work authorization, they will seek new jobs, obtain driver’s licenses and open financial institution accounts.”

Coopera and the Federation are asking credit union leaders to take part in a brief survey designed to get a bead on the movement’s readiness to serve immigrants today. Credit unions can click on to complete the survey.

“This first-hand insight as to credit union’s willingness, ability and cultural preparedness to serve immigrant consumers is critical to building the right support system,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of the Federation. “It’s our goal to provide truly valuable resources to help credit unions achieve the greatest possible outcomes from their immigrant service and growth strategies. This survey will lay the groundwork for developing the right tools and support services.”

For questions related to attendance at the CA, NY and TX roundtables, please contact Pablo DeFilippi, Federation VP of Members Services at For questions about webinar registration, contact Melody Myers at

About Coopera
Coopera (ko-pair-a) is a full-service Hispanic market solutions company with specific focus on credit unions nationwide. Coopera’s dedicated bicultural and bilingual personnel work closely with clients to assess their needs and create growth strategies designed to increase Hispanic membership, revenue growth and loan volume. Coopera specializes in developing long-term partnerships with clients as they transition from the early stages of discovery to a best practice credit union. Founded by the late Hispanic community activist Warren Morrow, Coopera is owned by Affiliates Management Company, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League and is an exclusive strategic growth partner of the Credit Union National Association. For more information, visit

About CUNA
With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves 90 percent of America’s 7,400 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by 95 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit or the CUNAverse blog and follow @CUNAverse on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visit and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter.

About the Federation
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is a certified CDFI Intermediary representing more than 200 community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation’s member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 4 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US, and hold over $32.5 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Madison, WI. The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit

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