CommunityWorks brings new community development credit union (CDCU) to Greenville
Greenville, SC--Greenville County's new source for affordable financial products and services is expected to open this month at 115 West Antrim Drive in Greenville--the first National Credit Union Administration chartered credit union in South Carolina in fifteen years. The NCUA Office of Consumer Protection in April granted a community charter to CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union (CWFCU), which will serve people who live, work, and worship or attend school in Greenville County, as well as businesses and other legal entities in the county.
The credit union plans to offer affordable and innovative financial services to individuals who currently are limited to high-cost alternatives, and its potential field of membership is estimated at 475,000 people. CWFCU, which will seek a low-income credit union designation, is one of only four Community Development Credit Unions (CDCU) in the state.
CDCUs specialize in serving low- and moderate-income people and communities by providing a safe environment to build assets and fairly priced loans, including to members with imperfect, limited or no credit history.
CWFCU in its first year will focus primarily on savings and loan products to help members build assets, repair credit, and enhance their financial knowledge.
“Everyone needs and deserves to have access to financial products and services they can afford,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “CommunityWorks will serve a real need among people who live in Greenville County. I commend everyone who worked hard to establish this credit union and made a commitment to the future of their community.”
CWFCU is sponsored by CommunityWorks, Inc., a non-profit community development financial institution, with support from the United Way of Greenville County and the Hollingsworth Fund. Established in January 2008, the non-profit promotes affordable housing, financial wellness, and community economic development to empower low-wealth families and break the cycle of poverty. Using the knowledge and experience gained in its work, CommunityWorks, Inc. will provide back-office support to CWFCU.
NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, which provided guidance to the charter group throughout the chartering process, will continue to provide assistance to the new credit union. Carolinas Credit Union League (CCUL) Director of Small Credit Union Initiatives LaTasha Cooper also is connected with and committed to CWFCU's success.
Additional support will come within and outside the credit union movement. CWFCU already has secured membership in the Carolinas Credit Union League, and Carolina Foothills FCU Vice President of Business Development and Community Engagement Terri Hendrix will serve on the CWFCU supervisory committee. Other contributors include South Carolina Bank & Trust (SCBT)--soon to be South State Bank--among other for-profit institutions with an interest in but limited ability to serve the CWFCU target market.
“SCBT is pleased to partner with the new CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union to meet the financial needs of low wealth families and communities in Greenville," CommunityWorks Board Member and SCBT Upstate Regional President Mike Coggin commented. "This credit union will be a resource for our bank as well as other banks in the area who cannot serve this market.”
“The CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union will be a game changer for the Greenville community and will help bridge the gap between low-wealth families and the mainstream banking world,” CommunityWorks, Inc. President and CEO Deborah McKetty added.