Mississippi Story Archive

Celebrating Dedication In Mississippi

Feb. 10, 2023 — The Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance recently presented service pins to honor employees with 5 or more years of service. Pictured are employees with 25-plus years of service. Combined, these employees have served the State of Mississippi for 163 years. Thank you for your dedication!

L to R: Sam Hubbard, Deputy Commissioner; Mike Garrard, Director of Non-Banking; Brandon Blair, Consumer Finance Examiner; Nicky Shelton, Field Supervisor; Paul Lion, Field Supervisor; and Roger Sinclair, Field Supervisor.

Hope Credit Union to Invest $1 Billion to Help People In The South

Courtesy of Ken McCarthy, American Banker

Sept. 16, 2022 —Hope Credit Union in Jackson, Mississippi, will provide $1 billion in financing to benefit more than 150,000 people in six Southern states during the next 10 years.

The money will “improve lives and close the racial and gender opportunity gaps” in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, the $536 million-asset credit union said in a press release.

The investment was catalyzed by a recent $92.6 million investment in Hope through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.

“People in the Deep South are incredibly resilient, and can do anything, if they have the tools,” Hope CEO Bill Bynum said in the press release. “With this historic investment by the Treasury, Hope will ensure that for families, entrepreneurs and communities in the Delta, in the Black Belt and in rural areas and inner cities throughout the Deep South, access to affordable financial tools will no longer be a barrier to their success.”

Structured as regulatory capital, each dollar of federal funds allows Hope to attract up to $10 in deposits. Hope will use the ECIP funds to import deposits into places that lack local resources needed to finance businesses, homebuyers, affordable rental housing, health care facilities, schools, nonprofit service providers and other assets needed for families and communities to prosper.

Last year, Hope CU partnered with Goldman Sachs, seven cities and nine historically Black colleges and universities to invest in small businesses in the South.

Three Credit Unions in Three States Seeking Merger into One
Three credit unions in three different states have announced plans to merge with each other.

Courtesy of CUToday.info

Screen Shot 2022-08-30 at 10.39.13 AMMUNA Federal Credit Union
MUNA FCU was established in 1962 as a Navy military CU and operates one branch, serving more than 6,000 members. MUNA FCU reported $286,558 in net income for the first half of the year, with capital of 10.47%.

Screen Shot 2022-08-30 at 10.38.51 AM Pinnacle Credit Union
PCU was established in 1926 and serves more than 6,000 members via two branch locations. Pinnacle reported $2.040 million in net income over the first six months of the year, with capital of 9.01%.

Screen Shot 2022-08-30 at 10.39.29 AMRVA Financial Credit Union
RVA Financial was established in 1950 and serves more than 9,000 members with two branch locations. It reported $179,123 in net income in the first half of 2022, with capital at 9.27%.

Aug. 30, 2022 — The $95-million Pinnacle Credit Union in Atlantathe $51-million MUNA FCU in Meridian, Miss., and the $80-million RVA Financial Credit Union in Richmond, Va. said they are seeking to combine pending regulatory approval and membership votes.

According to the three credit unions, if approved each would maintain its individual brand for a “short time” as they work to determine a unified brand. The organization’s combined assets would be approximately $216 million and the CU would more than 23,000 members with five branches across Virginia, Mississippi, and Georgia.

All three credit unions are running the same core system, which they noted will make merging easier. NCUA call report data show all three credit unions are profitable.

Proposed Management

The merger proposal calls for Bo Pittman, current president/CEO of MUNA FCU, to become CEO and regional president of the proposed organization; Matt Selke, current resident/CEO of Pinnacle, to become CFO and regional president, and Rick Preble, current president/CEO of RVA Financial, to become COO and regional president.

“This merger represents a mutually advantageous partnership between three member-focused credit unions committed to providing exceptional service while offering competitive products and access to their members and the communities they serve,” the credit unions said in a statement. “In a global financial sector that is changing, these organizations are committed to a collaborative pooling of resources and talent coupled with a mission to serve members, employees, and communities better.

“All three credit unions are in agreement that in today’s highly regulated, high-tech environment, it is becoming more difficult for smaller credit unions to compete in everything from technology to recruiting,” the statement continued. “This is what makes the idea of smaller credit unions working together collaboratively to pool resources and do things together for the good of their members a strategy some credit unions are choosing to pursue. The idea of pooling resources is the very foundation credit unions were built on. The credit union industry remains steadfast in its mantra of people helping people and mergers are just one way to do this.”

Additional Services

The credit unions said that once merged they will also be able to offer members a 24/7 contact center, home equity loans, business lending, and ITMs, services not all three of these organizations are currently offering.

“Another benefit of this merger is the fact that RVA Financial is community development financial institution (CDFI) certified and once combined the three credit unions will remain committed to serving low-income communities and providing financial services to people who lack access to financial products, services, and lending,” the credit unions said.

The merger requires approval by members of MUNA FCU and Pinnacle Credit Union. If approved, the credit unions said they plan to complete the merger in early 2023.

Click here to read this entire article.

Credit Union CEO Appears with Vice President Harris
Screen Shot 2022-04-03 at 8.24.59 PM

April 2022 – Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Credit Union and HOPE Enterprise Corp. joined Vice President Kamala Harris at an event in Greenville, Miss., to provide remarks on access to capital for small businesses in the Deep South,

The event was designed to highlight the Biden administration’s in small businesses and communities, including about $27 billion in support for support small businesses, homeowners and communities of color through the Emergency Capital Investment Program, the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program and the CDFI Fund.

Bynum and HOPE Enterprise and the credit union have been leaders in making capital more accessible in the Mississippi Delta region.

HOPE has generated over $3.6 billion in financing and related services for the unbanked and underbanked; homeowners, entrepreneurs and small business owners, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, and other community and economic development purposes, the organizations reported.

The projects have benefited more than two-million individuals throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

HOPE Credit Union receives $88 million to support minority-owned businesses

December 15, 2021 — Jackson-based HOPE Credit Union was awarded $88 million as part of a national effort to increase lending to minority-owned businesses and people with limited access to banking.

The Treasury released a total of $8.7 billion to be split among 186 financial institutions through its Emergency Capital Investment Program, which was included in a 2021 stimulus package passed by Congress. The program is the largest community finance development program ever created.

The financing is the largest investment that HOPE Credit Union has ever been awarded since it was founded in 1994.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced the historic investment during the Freedman’s Bank Forum, which was hosted Tuesday by the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.

“The wealth gap persists today, the homeownership gap persists,” Harris said. “Black entrepreneurs are three times more likely to report that a lack of access to capital negatively affects their profit margins.”



(08/31/21) The Louisiana Credit Union League is still assessing Hurricane Ida’s impact to credit unions.  Due to mass power and cell phone outages in southeastern Louisiana, communication with many areas is still limited.  Physical access to many areas is also limited.  The Mississippi Credit Union Association is in contact with the Louisiana Credit Union Association.  We’ll communicate with our member credit unions about offering assistance to Louisiana credit unions as more information becomes available.

(08/30/21) The Mississippi Credit Union Association is in contact with our member credit unions in areas affected by Hurricane Ida.  Although many credit unions are closed part or all of Monday as the storm continues its path across the state, no severe impact to Mississippi locations has been reported at this time.

Credit union members displaced by the storm can use their credit union’s online & mobile options when available, or if their credit union is in the CO-OP Shared Branching Network, can search for the nearest branch using the following resources:

Governor Reeves announces his appointment for Mississippi Bank Commissioner

March 24, 2021 — Jackson, Mississippi – Governor Tate Reeves announced Tuesday that Rhoshunda Kelly will lead the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Prior to this appointment to Bank Commissioner, Mrs. Kelly served as Acting Commissioner upon the retirement of the previous Commissioner and was appointed Interim Commissioner July 1, 2020.

Governor Tate Reeves stated that “Mrs. Kelly will continue to serve the people of Mississippi well in her capacity as Commissioner of Banking and Consumer Finance. Her experience and dedication to the Department will be an asset to the industry as well as the citizens who utilize the services of state-chartered banks and credit unions across Mississippi.”

Rhoshunda has nearly 20 years of experience as a bank regulator. She was appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2014 and was responsible for supervisory oversight of the banking, mortgage, consumer finance, administration, legal and information technology divisions. In this capacity, she also ensured effective coordination between the state and federal regulators and fostered engagement with regulated industries.

Mrs. Kelly grew up in Reform, Mississippi. She began her career as a bank examiner after graduating from Mississippi State University with a degree in Business and a concentration in Banking and Finance. She was a field examiner from 2001 to 2011. As a field examiner, she assessed the safety and soundness of Mississippi state-chartered banks. In 2012 she became a review examiner and was promoted to the Director of Bank Supervision in 2013.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the next Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. I want to thank Governor Reeves for this opportunity to serve the State of Mississippi. We have a vibrant financial ecosystem of banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and consumer finance industries. This financial network touches every corner of the state.”


MSU places first in nationwide banking case study competition
June 18, 2020 — JACKSON, Miss.—Mississippi State University placed first in the Conference of State Bank Supervisors 2020 Community Bank Case Study Competition. Mississippi State University, along with 37 teams from 33 colleges and universities in 18 states studied the impact of the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (BSA-AML) requirements of community banks. Student teams partnered with a local community bank to examine challenges, associated time and costs and identify potential regulatory reforms.

MSU team members included spring finance graduates Juan Benavides of Greenville; Liam Benson of Auburn, Maine; Byron McClendon of Brandon; Jake Mlsna of Starkville; and senior finance major Kirk Wright of Crystal Springs. Their faculty advisor was MSU Assistant Clinical Professor of Finance Matthew Whitledge. Citizens National Bank, based in Meridian, Miss., was the team’s community bank partner. Other university finalists included Concordia College, James Madison University, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and Purdue University.


What’s new in your state?
Click here to submit your state-chartered credit union news stories to NASCUS today!