CHARLESTON, W.Va. (12/ 8/09)--With 27% of West Virginia households unbanked or underbanked, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) survey, credit unions are stepping up to work with families ignored by the banking industry, said the West Virginia League. Credit unions are banks’ archrivals, West Virginia Credit Union League’s Rich Schaffer told The Charleston Gazette (Dec. 5). “Credit unions continue to work with struggling families who are often ignored by the traditional banking establishment,” Schaffer added. “Now, more than ever, credit unions are available to serve as an alternative to paying high fees for basic financial services.” The FDIC survey identified households as unbanked it they didn’t have a checking or savings account, the newspaper said. Households were defined as underbanked if they had a financial account but relied on check-cashing services, non-bank money orders, payday loans, rent-to-own agreements or pawn shops at least once or twice a year, or refund-anticipation loans at least once in the past five years, the paper added. The majority of the state’s unbanked are low-income people, and most poverty is found in rural counties, Sally Cline, West Virginia banking commissioner, told the paper. To read the article, use the link.