Join Diaspora Credit Union 2020 and make your contribution if you have not done so yet
AiB is conducting proper and thorough research with interested parties about the requirements and guidelines to open an official Diaspora Credit Union entity, including a structure that would support and sustain this initiative.
In the meantime, Africans in Boston is inviting all Diaspora members to dream with us and pledge a minimum of $100 will be used towards the creation of a Diaspora Credit Union.
The payment process is through PayPal, which has an easy payment tracking system, for both the person contributing:
Visit the AiB link below and invite friends.
We can make this happen! Together we stand!
MEMO ON INDIVIDUAL MEMBER RESEARCH/LEGAL INFORMATION SESSION GC’S RECOMMENDATION
Chartering a credit union is a very complicated legal process, and more often than not, people may have questions and concerns about their exposure to liability, legal jeopardy, and other foreseeable and unforeseeable financial issues. It is therefore highly recommended that we engage our members fully through the legal processes involved, to build trust among the members. In most cases, it is highly recommended that this stage be completed before revenue mobilization. The following paragraphs detail the initial research activity/review our members/subscribers should undertake.
WHY SHOULD AiB MEMBERS UNDERTAKE INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH/REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL CHARTER?
A credit union is a member-owned and controlled, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution formed to permit groups of persons to save, borrow, and obtain financial
services and to participate in its management. Member ownership and control are what
make credit unions unique, so it is important that members become familiar with the governing legal provisions under the Federal Charter.
The Federal Credit Union Act, as amended, sets forth the basic structure governing
federal credit unions. Membership is limited to a group, or multiple groups, each defined in the credit union’s charter, each of which have a common bond of occupation or association or is located within a well-defined neighborhood, community, or rural district. Member deposits into the credit union, otherwise known as shares, allow the member to become an owner of the credit union with a right to vote.
Shares provide primary funding for the lending and investment activities of the
credit union. Members exercise democratic control – one member, one vote, regardless of shares owned. The credit union is governed by a board of directors, elected by and from the credit union’s membership. Board and other committee members serve on a volunteer basis and are charged with acting in the best interest of all members.
The Federal Credit Union Act also established an independent executive agency within the federal government for the supervision of federal credit unions known as the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). NCUA charters and supervises federal credit unions. Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, NCUA
insures savings of members and eligible non-members to at least $250,000 in all federal credit unions and many state-chartered credit unions.
PRELIMINARY WORK (Should be completed first)
With the board’s permission, the information below should be made available to all members. I would highly recommend that it should be disseminated to members for review before proceeding with all other matters regarding the chartering process.
Step 1: Research the Federal Charter
Subscribers are advised to begin the chartering process by doing some research. The first step is to review and be familiar with the following NCUA documents:
1. Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide (https://www.ncua.gov/Resources/Documents/CUDev/Federal-Credit-Union-Charter-Application- Guide.pdf ) – review the 17 steps and documentation requirements discussed in this document;
2. Facts about Federal Credit Unionhttp://www.ncua.gov/Resources/Documents/CUDev/FactFedCreditUnion_A2.pdf ;
3. Federal Credit Union Handbookhttp://www.ncua.gov/Legal/GuidesEtc/GuidesManuals/fcu_handbook.pdf ;
4. NCUA’s Rules and Regulations
5. Appendix B of Part 701 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, also known as the
Chartering and Field of Membership Manual (Chartering Manual). Review
Chapters 1 and 2, and Chapter 3 if the PFCU plans to request a low-income
designation or serve an underserved area as part of its multiple common bond
Charterhttp://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=be767deb9af1bf01cf0586ba8007e46c&node=12:7.0.2. 22.214.171.124.29.6&rgn=div9 ;and
6. Express Chartering Procedures.http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/GuidesEtc/Pages/Express-Chartering-Procedure.aspx;
RECOMMENDATION: I would suggest that in the very foreseeable future we should plan a legal info session, where our members would learn about the legal procedures, their role, duties, rights, charter timelines, process, etc.
After the individual review and the info session, we can complete the Acknowledgement of Research forms the NCUA requires.
ACTION: The within memo, in its entirety and without being abridged, should be sent to all members.
PORTIONS OF THIS MEMO CONTAIN INFORMATION FROM THE NCUA’S WEBSITE
Road map for the creation of an African diaspora credit union1. Background:
Recognizing that financial institutions are one of the most heavily regulated institutions in the United States, Africans in Boston has taken a leap of faith and committed to steering the process for the creation of the first African Diaspora Credit Union in New England.
This began when African Union Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, reached out to Africans in Boston, in August 2018, and requested the organization to mobilize and convene Africans in the New England area, for the creation of an African diaspora credit union, which would be a significant contribution to the United States economy, and at the same time serve specific financial needs of the African diaspora in the region.
This process for creating the credit union was launched at a public meeting with the H.E Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, held on September 6, 2018 at Boston University. In that meeting, she urged the African Diaspora to leverage their numbers to create a financial entity that would cater to the needs of the African Diaspora, and at the same time become a platform for investment on the continent of Africa.
This meeting was attended by over 50 African diaspora, who expressed eagerness and enthusiasm to be a part of this project.
Following the launch, Africans in Boston held consultative meetings with H.E Amb Chihombori-Quao, Financial and banking experts, and groups of African Diaspora who have been mobilizing funds for the creation of different financial initiatives, both formal and informal (social support). These meetings were aimed at understanding the banking sector, financial regulations, and identifying ways to integrate existing financial initiatives into one process for creating a single African Diaspora Credit Union. The AiB team also embarked on a grassroot campaign to raise awareness of the process in the community. This consultative process increased enthusiasm and questions among Africans in the diaspora and was the foundation for the public Conference call held on October 10, 2018.
2. Africans in Boston Conference Call, October 10, 2018 at 7:30am-10:30am
This call was advertised on the various social media that AiB uses for most of its communication, including the AiB website, facebook, What’sApp groups, to provide an opportunity for African diaspora members to participate in this grassroot initiative. It was moderated by Voury Ignegongba (AiB President) and Vivian Birchall (Executive Director). Other people in attendance included Jeff Siaw, former
AFRICANS IN BOSTON
AiB Executive Director, Mountaga Sar (President, Senegalese Organization of Massachusetts); Kobena Bonney (President, Ghana Association of Greater Boston), Dapo Olagbaju, Caroline Okello (CEO-Alpha Gold Africa- Digital Financial Management Services), David Mwai Ndegwa (Sahara Group and ADG), Fatmata Jah, Ciro Njinyah, Alex Inyagwa, Salma Semakula, Honorable Will Mbah, City of Somerville Councilor , Aliya Seck (VP Senegalese Organization of Massachusetts), Libeyo Futila Matita David Nnyanzi, Mthambuza (South Africa), Ulrich Dossou and afew others whose names we did not capture.
All African diaspora were urged to send their company and organizational details, profiles and events to the AiB team, to be uploaded on the Africans in Boston website, to create a data base, book of list, and central location for broadcasting African programs, initiatives and businesses.
3. Proposed Diaspora Credit Union road map by Voury Ignegongba
The goal for the credit union project is to start in New England and replicate the model in other states in the USA and the rest of the World. A similar process is starting the United Kingdom and Africans in Boston is having conversations with partners in South Africa who have expressed interest in starting one in their community.
Phase 1: Mobilization and awareness
Phase 2: Contributions and board creation
Phase 3: Research
Phase 4: Diaspora credit union implementation or Bank acquisition
4. Options for creating accounts- proposed and discussed
- PayPal account through AiB
- Diaspora Savings & Investments Account with One United Bank (pendingnegotiation). With this option, a project manager would be assigned by the Bank, to meet and answer questions that the public might have. The goal is for diaspora members to open sub-accounts under this account with a code5. Concerns and Way Forward
- It was unanimously agreed that the legality of the process should take precedence over all other things, to protect all involved from getting in trouble with the law, in this heavily regulated sector
- It was unanimously agreed that the benefits of a credit union outweigh any possible negatives and all meeting participants expressed willingness to work with AiB to realize the dream for an African diaspora credit union.
- It was discussed and agreed that AiB needs to provide a clear structure and communication that will be used in the grass root campaign for getting African diaspora firstname.lastname@example.org www.africansinboston.org
AFRICANS IN BOSTON
- It was discussed and agreed to establish a Board of qualified and vetted individuals to provide oversight of the process for creating the credit union
- It was discussed and agreed that this process would need critical mass to create the new financial entity, and all community leaders and individuals were requested to use their platforms to mobilize the African Diaspora.
- Africans in Boston will continue working with Mr. David Ndegwa, whose group has already carried out research on the legal structure for creating a financial entity in the USA, to integrate that process into the main framework.
- Some expressed concern about using the AiB’s Paypal account to collect individual contributions, and favored using an established financial entity/bank for that process. However, some also pointed out the possible inconvenience of opening accounts that did not have adequate branches through out New England. AiB will report on the next course of Action, after consultation with relevant people.
- Participants were invited to join the AiB team as volunteers to work toward improving the AiB platform.
- Mr. Jeff Siaw and Mr. Ciro Njinyah volunteered to help with the Credit Union initiative as needed.Vivian Birchall and Voury Ignegongba