Expanded Access to Financial Services Act

Publication Date: May 2005

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Banking and finance



On April 27, 2005, the House passed legislation (H.R. 749) that would allow federally chartered credit unions to offer nonmember individuals access to a defined set of financial services and products. To be eligible, the consumer must meet the criteria for membership in the credit union. The credit union could offer money orders, check cashing, and money transfer services. The intent of this legislation is to attract unbanked individuals (consumers that do not have an account with a depository financial institution) into the financial mainstream and to better serve low-income communities. To date there has been little public opposition to the legislation. This report provides background on the arguments offered in support of improved access, credit unions, and the legislation. This report will be updated as legislative developments warrant.