Bethex Federal Credit Union, a community development credit union serving the predominantly low-income South Bronx community in New York City, was presented with $25,000 from the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards in recognition of its community impact.
Chartered in 1970 to provide affordable financial services and financial education, to “welfare mothers,” the credit union has grown to nearly $16 million in assets with more than 6,000 low- and moderate-income members throughout the South Bronx.
According to the Census Bureau, this is nation’s the poorest congressional district, with more than 38% of the population and 49% of children living below the poverty line.
Bethex Federal provides a full suite of services including savings and checking accounts, debit and credit cards, personal and auto loans, mortgages, small business loans, and online banking with bill pay.
Launched in 2007, the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards “provide low-interest loans and grants totaling $8.25 million each year to two premier community development financial institutions [CDFI] with a history of outstanding accomplishment, a bold and compelling vision, and extraordinary potential for growth, innovation, and impact," as well as four $25,000 awards to CDFIs that demonstrate outstanding advocacy, community impact, innovation and financing.
This year's $5.5 million award was given to Boston Community Capital, the $2.5 million award was presented to Enterprise Cascadia, with the three other $25,000 awards going to Forward Community Investments, Appalachian Community Enterprises, and Business Carolina.
Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y., was one of three finalists in this year’s competition for the $5.5 million award to organizations with more than $50 million in assets.