Nuvision Credit Union has been certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the US Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund.
Institutions that receive CDFI certification can access US Treasury Department CDFI Fund grants to support financially vulnerable residents and communities.
The designation is only awarded to lenders that provide financial services and products in low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing.
In applying for the certification, Nuvision was required to prove that community development is one of its missions and that it served one or more of the certification’s target markets.
The credit union, which has assets in excess of $2.8 billion, also had to provide evidence of “development services to borrowers in conjunction with financing activities”, and demonstrate it can “maintain accountability” to its target market.
Roger Ballard, Nuvision CEO, said: “Many hard-working members in the markets we serve have not received the economic opportunities they deserve, which has only been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Designation as a CDFI now means Nuvision has more access to funds and fewer restrictions to serving our markets.”
Nuvision Credit Union has more than 170,000 members across California, Arizona, Alaska, Washington and Wyoming.
Ballard added: "We are committed to building lives in the communities we serve, and this CDFI designation will be a key contributor to our ability to support the dreams and goals of individuals and businesses in the communities we serve."
The CDFI fund was established in 1994, with the aim to allow CDFI lenders to expand their reach into economically distressed areas.
Last year, California-based think tank, the Milken Institute, published a report in which it outlined 14 strategies for large organizations to assist with partnerships to better serve underbanked communities.
It came after a number of new partnerships were established in 2021 between financial institutions and technology companies to help bridge the racial wealth gap across the US.