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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Statement on Navy Federal Credit Union’s Lending Practices

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released this statement following news that Navy Federal Credit Union, which is privately run and is the largest credit union in the United States, rejected more than half its Black conventional mortgage applicants in 2022. Navy Federal Credit Union is not operated by the U.S. Navy or the Federal Government, but rather it is a privately run credit union that serves members of the Armed Services, veterans, and their families.

“As a long-time champion of credit unions and their mission, I was appalled and shocked to see the reports by CNN that the privately run Navy Federal Credit Union has routinely engaged in a pattern of discrimination against its Black and Latinx members. Specifically, it appears that the credit union has rejected more than half of its Black typical mortgage loan applicants and nearly half of its Latinx applicants, denying thousands of Black and Latinx servicemembers, veterans, and their families the dream of homeownership and wealth building opportunities. What’s even more insidious is that Black applicants were more than twice as likely to be denied as White applicants with similar incomes and debt-to-income ratios, and the credit union approved a higher percentage of White borrowers making less than $62,000 a year than it did of Black borrowers making $140,000 or more.

“Credit unions are supposed to serve their members, many of whom lack access to traditional banks or simply trust their credit union because of the bonds of a shared field of membership. Credit unions are owned by their members and while this type of discrimination may be par for the course for a profit-driven megabank, a member-driven credit union should know better.

“As a private institution that bears the name of an esteemed branch of the United States military, Navy Federal must explain both to Congress and their members how such practices took place, what immediate steps are being taken to correct the harm done, and who in management will be held responsible. Its leadership should also share to what extent they prioritize diversity and inclusion, including on their management team and board, as well as in their hiring, promoting, and contracting practices. These abuses will not be tolerated, and I urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Credit Union Administration, and other appropriate agencies to promptly investigate this matter.”


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