November 07, 2019

NAFCU pledges to support savings initiatives

Hood at America Saves Summit
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood discusses the agency's efforts to encourage consumers to save at a summit Wednesday.

At the America Saves Summit Wednesday, NAFCU pledged to promote programs and resources designed to help Americans save. NAFCU consistently shares credit unions' financial education efforts to help members reach their financial goals and was the only financial services industry trade to join the pledge at the event.

During the summit, attended by NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Kaley Schafer, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger and NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood shared how their agencies are working to promote financial literacy.

Kraninger said the bureau is focused on establishing partnerships and leveraging shared resources to educate consumers about the importance of savings. A report from the bureau earlier this year found that many consumers don't have enough liquid savings to cover unexpected, emergency expenses and launched an initiative – "Start Small, Save Up" – to address the issue. Following the initiative's launch, NAFCU teamed up with the bureau to offer a webinar that covered financial literacy efforts and ways to encourage consumers to save.

Hood said the NCUA is exploring how credit unions can offer products and services that promote savings as consumer behaviors change and new technologies emerge. As a result, the agency will need to modernize its own tools and regulations and is creating an innovation center focused on doing so. In addition, Hood stressed the importance of expanding access to affordable financial institutions.

"This will require us to utilize technology, form new public-private partnerships, and support community-based depository institutions, like credit unions and community banks, which are often the only federal insured, financial service providers in many of our underserved communities," Hood said at the event. "But, we must do more, as we can no longer afford to have so many of our citizens outside of the financial mainstream."

NAFCU will continue to work with lawmakers and regulators to ensure credit unions have the ability and resources to help Americans make well-informed financial decisions and protect vulnerable populations from financial exploitation.