ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/30/08)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rodney Hood said a remarkable fact he uncovered during a recent official trip to Beijing was that, through the outreach efforts of the Chinese banking regulator, nearly every person in China has an account with a financial institution. Hood met with Jiang Dingzhi, vice chairman of the International Department for the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). The purpose of the meeting was to gain a broader understanding of the Chinese financial system and to share best practices of financial regulation. Hood also inquired about a new initiative that he said is of special interest to him; a microcredit pilot program being considered in one Chinese province. Hood said that to facilitate the needs of small businesses, the Chinese government is looking to debut microcredit companies in the Zhejiang province that will provide loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. Also during the meeting, Hood outlined the role of NCUA and the importance of the credit union system in helping underserved American’s attain financial security and ultimately achieve the “American Dream” of homeownership. Hood also noted the importance of financial literacy and how credit unions are making that a reality through required education programs that teach members how to manage money. Hood extended an invitation for Dingzhi to visit the NCUA the next time he is in the United States.