RRCU adds record nine underserved areas with help from CUCollaborate

The credit union recently converted to a multiple common bond charter and expanded its field of membership by 4.85 million.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 6, 2023) — On May 31, 2023, the NCUA approved Red River Employees Federal Credit Union’s (RRCU) conversion from a community to a multiple common bond charter, allowing for the addition of an unprecedented nine underserved areas to its field of membership (FOM).

The credit union’s resulting potential membership of 4.85 million represents an increase of over 440% from its previous FOM.

Backstory and Context

RRCU, based in Texarkana, Texas, in Bowie County, has a long history of establishing strong ties within its service area, all with the aim of making a positive impact on families, communities, and the region as a whole.

Staying true to this goal, the credit union, explained president and CEO Bradley Bailey, constantly engages in “efforts to understand the needs of different populations facing limited options for financial services.” RRCU had “explored numerous avenues for membership development and growth,” he continued. “After strategic discussions we conducted market research to understand how to connect directly with current and potential members.”

The result was the decision to expand the credit union’s service area.

“We see growing our field of membership as a natural extension of our mission,” said Bailey. “One of our major priorities was increasing our physical presence and improving services for our current members, however, in order to do so, we knew we would first have to expand our service area.”

The opportunities for expansion, however, were limited by RRCU’s community charter.

Newly opened RRCU branch in Greenville, Texas.

The Application Process

Faced with this challenge, 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 decision was made to proceed with a charter conversion coupled with the underserved area additions, which would allow RRCU to grow its field of membership without losing any current potential members.

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 particular case, CUCollaborate helped RRCU prepare and submit applications to the NCUA proving the underserved areas indeed met all necessary criteria, along with the institution’s ability and commitment to serving potential new members immediately.

The expansion sees the additions of nine underserved rural districts covering numerous counties across four different states—Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The combined area, with an estimated population of 4.85 million, has the potential to increase RRCU’s membership drastically.

About CUCollaborate

CUCollaborate is a challenger consultancy that champions credit union growth through disruptive innovation. The company’s aim is to help credit unions adapt, grow, and succeed long term by offering the innovation, insight, and know-how to help them do it.


Ben Hering

Dan Collins

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