Treasury’s financial inclusion and responsible lending initiatives

Recent initiatives include the department’s request for information and new additions to the community development financial institution funding application.

The Treasury Department’s new initiatives to promote financial inclusion and responsible lending should benefit credit unions so long as the industry engages Treasury to express its views.

According to the World Bank, “[f]inancial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs—transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance—delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.” The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2023 (part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023) directed Treasury to develop a federal government strategy to improve financial inclusion. Two recent initiatives in this workstream include the Treasury’s “Request for Information on Financial Inclusion” and the Treasury Department Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s new application requirements involving “responsible financing practices.”

Credit unions have always helped individuals of modest means by promoting thrift and access to credit on fair terms. According to the U.S. Congress, “[t]he American credit union movement began as a cooperative effort to serve the productive and provident credit needs of individuals of modest means. Credit unions continue to fulfill this public purpose.”


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