FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (6/4/08)--Population growth and its implications for Texas credit unions is the subject of the Texas Credit Union League’s (TCUL) “Sea Change” report. TCUL said it believes tremendous growth potential exists in Texas’ unbanked and underserved communities. Its recent white paper--“Sea Change”--empowers credit unions with tools needed to tap into this market, the league said (LoneStar Leaguer June 3). The report, authored by Doug Foister of Credit Union Resources Inc., indicates that while over one-third of U.S. residents belong to a credit union, only 21% of Hispanics are credit union members. “We see in Texas today a demographic transformation of nearly sea change proportions,” Foister writes. “On the one hand, the state is aging markedly and on the other, it’s racial and ethnic composition is becoming increasingly diverse, with the most rapid and sustained growth occurring in the Hispanic population.” The report examines population growth in Texas and the U.S., as well as age characteristics, race and ethnicity, and the implications for Texas credit unions. Sea Change was commissioned by TCUL’s International Relationship Committee, comprising credit union leaders statewide who serve in an advisory capacity on a volunteer basis. “As many as 12 million Americans, if not more, are unbanked, and millions more are underserved,” noted Maria Martinez, chair of the committee. “Because they have no financial institution relationships, they turn to fringe financial services providers who charge them exorbitant fees for the very basic financial services. “Credit unions, which are all about giving a hand up, not a hand out, are ideally suited to serve this market,” she added. The committee’s goal is to develop programs and tools to help pave the way to the untapped markets.