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About the Latino Credit Union Network
The Federation is the only national organization offering special programs for credit unions that have majority or substantial Latino memberships. Among the distinctive issues addressed by these credit unions are: the need for bilingual and bicultural marketing; immigration-related issues; and member demand for cost-effective channels to transfer money to relatives in their home countries. In 1994, the Federation convened the first informal gathering of credit unions serving Latino members. This group eventually formed the Federation's Latino Credit Union Network.
In November 1999, the Federation sponsored the first-ever national Latino Credit Union Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The conference was a great success, drawing credit unions of all sizes and types. Over the next two years, the Federation established a list serv for Latino credit unions, and began devoting increasing attention to issues such as international money remittances. During this period, the Latino Community Credit Union in Durham, North Carolina was organized; it has become the fastest growing CDCU in the country, with up to $17 million in assets and more than 26,000 members in less than four years, becoming a national model.
In April 2002, we organized the Second Latino Credit Union Conference in San Diego, California. Reflecting the growing visibility of Latino issues, the conference agenda featured an address by Senator Mel Martinez, at the time Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development -- the first cabinet official to attend a Federation event. Credit unions from $ 1 million to $1 billion in assets, renowned speakers such as famed teacher Jaime Escalante (subject of the film, Stand and Deliver), financial-institution managers from Mexico, Chairman Dollar of the National Credit Union Administration, and many other officials were represented.
In 2004, we held the Third Latino Credit Union Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, leading into the Federation's Thirtieth Anniversary Meeting. The conference was a great success; bringing together over 280 practitioners from credit unions currently serving or interested in expanding into Latino communities across the nation; government agencies, and the foundation world. Third Latino Conference guests were joined by Anna Maria Farías, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD; Deborah Matz, NCUA Board Member; Art Garcia, newly appointed head of the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund; Mildred Santiago, Director of the Puerto Rico League of Cooperatives; Ana Violeta Ortiz, President of COSSEC, Puerto Rico's credit union regulator; and many more. The Third Latino CU Conference was capped by site visits to three Puerto Rican credit unions, two large faith-based credit unions and one serving the employees of the Puerto Rico Electric Company. For more information about this event, and to view presentations from the Third Latino Credit Union Conference & Thirtieth Anniversary Meeting, click here.
In June, 2006, Durham’s West Main Street became the nation’s “Main Street” for credit unions serving people of modest means and Latino populations across the United States. More than 400 representatives from across the United States came together from sun-up to well past sun-down for keynotes by national figures, workshops, and site visits to local CDCUs. Speakers included U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; NCUA Board members Rodney Hood and Gigi Hyland. Martin Eakes, co-founder of Self-Help CU described the 25-year journey of his institution, from its humble beginnings as a credit union start-up organized with $77 raised at a bake sale to becoming a billion-dollar community development financial institution leading a national campaign against predatory lending. For more information on this event, and to view our special conference report, please click here.
In June 2008, the Federation teamed-up with the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) to organize the 5th Latino Credit Union Conference, part of our 34th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved, held in Dallas, Texas. Keynote presenters included United States Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland; Arizona State University Associate Professor Bárbara Robles; and many more. For additional information on this event, please click here.
In 2010, we joined forces yet again with NLCUP to organize the 36th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved & 6th Latino Credit Union Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. More than 300 representatives of credit unions, government, and asset-building professionals attended the event. A large delegation from Mexico also attended, and attendees learned first-hand about service to Latinos living in urban and rural communities from credit union experts, researchers, policy-makers, and others with decades of experience serving the demographic. For more information about this event, click here.
Latino CU Network Partnerships
Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) - In 2004, at its 30th Anniversary Meeting and 3rd Latino Credit Union Conference in San Juan, PR, the Federation’s Board of Directors agreed to support a new organization dedicated to increasing the representation and participation of Latinos in the credit union movement. Two of the Federation’s allies led the new initiative: Carlos Calderón from OAS Staff FCU and Carla Decker from District Government Employees FCU, both in Washington, DC. The idea became reality in April 2006 when the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) was formally incorporated, with the Federation serving as institutional host and providing administrative support.
Directo a su Cuenta/Go Direct - To help people learn more about direct deposit and to help them sign up for it, the Federation has partnered with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Directo A Su Cuenta/Go Direct campaign. The aim is to get more people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits to switch to direct deposit – the safest, easiest way to get their money.