LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, N.Y. (2/20/09)--Low- and moderate-income consumers in underserved communities across the country will gain access to a suite of financial programs and products at community development credit unions (CDCUs) through a new alliance between UNFCU Financial Advisors (UNFCU FA) and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. "Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of CDCUs by providing them with the tools, expertise and resources they need to deploy sustainable financial solutions to low-income people," said Stephen J. Ryerson, president of UNFCU FA, a subsidiary of Long Island City, N.Y.-based United Nations FCU. "In this way, UNFCU FA is not only supporting credit unions that directly serve communities in need, but it is also fulfilling the UNFCU Board mandate to contribute towards the betterment of the human condition." The alliance enables the financial advisors group to gain deeper insight into the needs of low-income consumers to tailor programs, products and services for them, and for moderate-income individuals. Among the planned offerings are insurance services, investment and mortgage-related products, and real estate buying and selling assistance. The federation has focused the past several years on building bridges between credit unions of all types and sizes, explained federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. "Our new partnership seeks to leverage our CDCU-members' knowledge of the low-income market with the scale and resources of this larger, more sophisticated financial institution," he said. "This collaboration will allow us to further our mission of helping low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions." "UNFCU has a long history serving underserved members and credit unions throughoutAfrica and Latin America, as well as in low-income areas in the U.S., particularly in New York City," said Pablo DeFilippi, federation director of membership services . "We hope that this type of collaboration will create replicable synergies to better serve low-income communities across the nation." Last year the $2.688 billion asset United Nations FCU became the first credit union in the nation to participate directly in the federation's Community Development Investment Program (CDIP), with a $500,000 investment in CDCUs. CDIP has raised more than $46.2 million to invest in low-income credit unions across the U.S. While most of the federation's investment capital is from social investors, foundations, government, and banks, the federation has increasingly turned to the credit union movement for support. UNFCU was the first credit union in the nation to make a substantial investment.