In December 2022, over 200 credit union lobbyists descended on Charleston, South Carolina, to plot their advocacy strategy for the year ahead. Participants made clear that the credit union industry plans to continue paying lip service to serving low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, while directing its efforts toward expanding into new affluent markets.
It made sense in the 1930s for the government to subsidize credit unions by letting them off the hook from paying federal income taxes. Back then, they helped at-risk communities survive hard times by expanding access to credit to those who needed it most. Large credit unions have long abandoned that mission, and today are seeking membership growth—by targeting rich people.