What can be done about the drought of new credit union charters?

There are financial deserts in towns and cities across America; there is also an absence of new credit union charters.

Since December 2016, the number of federally insured credit unions has fallen from 5,785 to 4,780, at year end 2022. This is a decline of over 165 charters per year. In this same six years, fourteen new charters were granted.

Expanding fields of membership (FOMs) to “underserved areas” or opening an out-of-area credit union branch, is not the same solution as a locally inspired and managed charter.

Obtaining a new charter has never been more difficult for interested groups. Through its insurance approval, the NCUA has the final say on all new applications whether for a federal or state charter.


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