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Mica D.C. mayor highlight unveiling of Bank on DC program
WASHINGTON (4/29/10)--Six District of Columbia credit unions are taking a central role in a program aimed at opening 10,000 new accounts and establishing 10,000 direct deposits for D.C. residents by the end of 2010.
Click to view larger image From left: Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica, Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association President/CEO Mike Beall and Fiona Greig, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's Bank on DC program director. Also speaking were Patricia Ellis, second from right in background, HEW FCU chair, and Fenty (in hat). Six credit unions have a central role in the program. (Photo provided by CUNA)
The program was launched Wednesday at Credit Union House on Capitol Hill. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica attended the event. In opening the new accounts and direct deposits, according to the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA), the credit unions are offering low or no-fee savings and checking accounts. Further, the accounts are being offered to all current members of the credit unions. The six credit unions are:
* Agriculture FCU; * District Government Employees FCU; * Signal Financial FCU; * Treasury FCU; * DVA FCU; and * HEW FCU.
HEW FCU has been honored as a leader in the program, earning a “platinum” designation. Other participants in the program--which is billed as the “first comprehensive program in the District of Columbia to serve the ‘unbanked,’ those who live without access to mainstream financial institutions and those forced to rely on expensive check-cashing services"--include national and local banks and thrifts. At Wednesday’s launch, CUNA’s Mica noted that the program is natural fit for credit unions, whose checking accounts--by and large (80%)--provide one free account with no minimum balance requirement and no maintenance or activity fees. Mica was joined at the launch by Mayor Fenty and U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary Michael Barr. “Credit unions are a dominant force in area consumer finance with more than 60 credit unions located in the District of Columbia, about 40% of D.C. residents owning accounts at a local credit union and 20% calling a credit union their primary financial institution,” said MDDCCUA President/CEO Mike Beall. “One in five auto loans in the area is made through a credit union, and credit unions experienced a 20% increase in mortgage originations in the D.C. area in 2009. Clearly, credit unions have been the open outlet of safe, reasonable credit to DC consumers in spite of the economic downturn,” he said.

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