NEW YORK (11/11/09)--A seminar next month will address topics related to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) initiatives to collect data on credit union outreach and service to underserved communities. The seminar will be in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 3, and sponsored by National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. "Our goal is to help credit unions stay ahead of the curve," said federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. "Legislation to extend CRA beyond banks to other financial institutions, including credit unions, has more than 50 co-sponsors and will be debated in Congress in 2010," he said. "NCUA is also nearing completion of a year-long data collection initiative, so while the financial crisis has pushed these issues into the background in 2009, we think that will begin to change next year, and we want credit unions prepared with the facts." The federation opposes mandatory CRA for credit unions in favor of voluntary initiatives such as its Community Development Partners Program. The seminar will include best practices of credit unions, and a debate about CRA, featuring John Taylor, president, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and CRA critic Prof. Lawrence White of New York University, and moderated by Credit Union Times Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke. Seminar topics include CRA 101; NCUA's data gathering efforts on serving the underserved; demographic and economic data on credit union services analyzed by economists at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU); federation tools to help assess and expand service to the underserved; and new certification standards to enhance the credit union brand and position in the mortgage marketplace. Other speakers include Bill Zavarello, staff to the House Financial Services Committee; Frank Pollack of Pentagon FCU; Jim Blake of HarborOne CU; Ed Jacob of North Side Community FCU, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel, NAFCU Chief Economist Tun Wai; Timothy Burniston of the Federal Reserve Board; Gary Kohn of NCUA; and David Cotney of the Massachusetts Division of Banks. For more information, use the link.