Oklahoma Community Credit Union’s ability to serve north central Oklahoma is expanding after receiving regulatory approval from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) last month to convert to a new charter.
The change, which is effective immediately, keeps Oklahoma Community’s previous five county area in tact which includes Payne, Pawnee, Lincoln, Logan and Noble counties. However, with the charter conversion, Oklahoma Community membership is now open to persons who live, work, regularly conduct business in, worship, attend school in, or businesses in certain areas of Blaine, Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Garfield, Grant, Hughes, Kay, Major, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, and Tulsa counties. These rural districts meet the underserved investment area definition of Section 109(c)(2) of the Federal Credit Union Act.
The change also adds a new path to membership to the credit union regardless of where a potential member lives. Persons who join the American Consumer Council (ACC), will also be eligible for Oklahoma Community membership. The ACC is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 and dedicated to consumer education and financial literacy.
Oklahoma Community President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Thrasher, said the change has two goals. First, to allow the credit union to meet needs in all of north central Oklahoma and, secondly, to provide a path to membership for anyone who wants to become a member and bank with Oklahoma Community.
“Under our former community charter, there were times we had to turn away potential members because they couldn’t fit into the geographic limitations of the community charter,” Thrasher said. “Now, we not only have the ability to reach out to the new underserved areas, but we also can offer a path to membership outside of those geographic boundaries through the American Consumer Council, which shares a common goal of ours, to enhance financial literacy.”
When Oklahoma Community began researching charter options, they partnered with CUCollaborate to assist with the project. CUCollaborate works exclusively with credit unions to provide greater financial access to often-overlooked markets, making the communities they serve more equitable and better places to live.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lyle Eastman stated, “CUCollaborate was able to identify underserved areas for Oklahoma Community and assist with the NCUA application process. They have helped us secure a path to continue to make an impact in underserved areas of Oklahoma.”
“Having a partner through this process like CUCollaborate was extremely valuable,” Thrasher added. “Being a mid-sized credit union, we didn’t necessarily have the staff to devote to determining the underserved area or to complete the application. CUCollaborate’s expertise was able to help us through both and they will continue to assist us with implementation.”
“We are excited to move Oklahoma Community Credit Union’s mission forward,” stated Eastman. “With the charter expansion and the partnership with the ACC, we continue to add value to our current Membership and now have ways for more individuals to gain financial services.”