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Credit Unions Fall Short of Their Mission, New Study Finds

Although a little-noticed segment of the U.S. financial system, credit unions now amount to a $1.5 trillion industry servicing 119.4 million customers. Originally chartered under federal law in 1934 to serve households of small means through “provident or productive” services, credit unions enjoy numerous benefits, including a federal tax exemption unmatched for any other private enterprise. Although the need for equality-essential financial services is even greater in 2019 than it was in 1934, no one has studied the extent to which credit-union benefits are earned by compliance with statutory charter requirements since 2006. A new study from Federal Financial Analytics, Inc. takes this on, evaluating an array of data and governmental studies of individual aspects of credit-union activities to conclude that the credit union industry falls short of express statutory requirements. The study thus recommends renewed attention to the credit-union mission and effective enforcement to ensure that it is meaningfully and materially achieved.

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IBA Credit Union Resources

 

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