The March edition of Credit Union Magazine highlights St. Louis Community Credit Union’s commitment to serving the underserved and developing partnerships with community groups.
In 2005, the credit union was facing stagnant growth, yet had abundant capital. Its board and executive team had to make a decision—did they do nothing or did they become a force for change?
“We were turning away hundreds of people who wanted access to basic accounts, but they couldn’t get them due to membership eligibility restrictions,” says Paul Woodruff, St. Louis Community’s vice president of Community Development. “We also started to see an increase in members who were using payday lenders and check cashers, which strips wealth out of our community.”
St. Louis Community’s board and executives opted to revise the credit union’s policies and procedures to ensure they better serve their community. With these changes in place, the credit union operates under the philosophy that everyone deserves to be treated with financial dignity.
The article touched on the credit union’s initiatives to better serve members and the community, such as obtaining community development financial institution (CDFI) designation, recalibrating membership criteria, offering alternatives to payday lending, offering financial education assistance (individual and group) and collaborating with a bank to fund a brick-and-mortar financial education facility.
Credit Union Magazine subscribers can read the whole article here.