RICHMOND, Va. (9/14/12)--Credit unions are a viable alternative to payday lenders, Nancy Pierce, field coach for the National Credit Union Foundation, told a seminar audience hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
The challenge credit unions face is that they serve defined fields of membership and must match the pervasiveness of payday lenders on nearly every street corner (Richmond Times Dispatch Sept. 14).
Offering financial services to the the poor is a big business in America, with at least seven publicly traded companies in the check-cashing business, said Gary Rivlin, author of the book, "Broke USA."
Many low-income consumers do not participate in or have access to traditional financial services.
More than one in four U.S. households--28.3%--are either unbanked or underbanked, a slight increase from 2009, according to 2011 statistics released Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (News Now Sept 12).
Pierce suggested nonprofit groups, social service agencies and faith-based organizations attending the seminar could partner with credit unions to assist low-income families the groups serve.
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