CDFI Industry Addresses its Challenges
Since we originally posted our interview with Clifford Rosenthal, the long-time President and CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the CDFI industry has continued to face considerable challenges. However, it has also moved towards resolving many of its long-standing problems in the past 2 years.
When we spoke with him last, Rosenthal named the need for greater transparency, integration, and standardization as the three primary issues that the industry needed to address. The evolution of the industry rating system CARS™ , originally an extension of the Opportunity Finance Network, reflects progress made in the areas of transparency and standardization. CARS™ has been re-released as an independent entity and relaunched with a larger offering of analytic tools. These new products afford clients a more holistic view of a specific CDFI’s organization, function and proficiency. Many CDFIs have used their first-round CARS™ ratings to re-position their organization, and receive higher ratings in second-round ratings. The CDFI industry has become more standardized as organizations try to reach better CARS™ ratings levels. Issues of efficiency and integration are still being addressed, although integration is taking place within the industry with the establishment of centralized back office services for smaller CDFIs.
Rosenthal recently left his post at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, assumed a new position in May 2012 as Assistant Director of the Office of Financial Empowerment at the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Pamela Owens has assumed the role of Interim President and CEO as a permanent replacement search is conducted. Pamela served as the Vice-President for Programs at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions prior to her role as interim President and CEO.—Evan Lozier. Evan is Capital Institute's Summer 2012 intern.