Author: Hugo Abrego, Marketing Manager, FNBO
At 62 million strong, Latinos represent one of the fastest growing segments of the American populace. They’re adding to the cultural fabric of the country and weaving a novel weft of diversity, but it isn’t always easy to establish a new thread in American society.
Today, 3 in 10 Hispanics remain unbanked or underbanked. This means they lack access to critical financial services, including an interest-bearing deposit account or credit building products.
Without financial products like these, Latinos are paying more for basic transactions, such as cashing a check or paying a bill online. They are also missing out on the security of certain time-saving services, such as direct deposit and auto bill pay. Even more importantly, without a bank account and financial history, Latinos are less likely to secure a mortgage or gain a business loan to help realize growth objectives.
At FNBO, we believe in fair and inclusive access to financial services for all citizens, so we’re taking some very important steps to better reach Latino communities.
When you look beneath the surface, it’s easy to understand why so many Latinos are unbanked or underbanked. Because many individuals are new to the U.S. banking system, they prefer to walk into a branch and converse with a knowledgeable representative about financial services.
There is only one problem. It isn’t always easy to find a branch.
In many communities, physical locations are closing, and even where brick and mortar establishments remain, language barriers are a deterrent to Latinos seeking banking support.
That’s why FNBO is reaching out to communities within our footprint, with dedicated banking programs, backed with bilingual employees. At present, we operate 37 branches in Latino populated areas across the 8 states in our footprint. Within those regions, we are hiring Spanish bilingual employees to serve our customers as we actively seek to support the Latino population.
However, providing for our Hispanic neighbors doesn’t stop there. It is our goal to walk hand in hand with Latino customers throughout their journey of creating wealth and leaving a legacy for future generations. To reach this goal, we are providing customers with financial education as well as some dedicated services.
One of the first is a specific lending program geared towards consumers that have no credit history and may have temporary status but still need to borrow funds. We also offer free checking accounts with no monthly service fees, no minimum deposit requirements or minimum balance requirements, to help our Latino customers get established in banking services.
At FNBO, we believe that financial wellness is the key to achieving dreams, and our employees are here to guide that journey. From selecting a checking or savings account and building a credit history to buying a home or starting a business, we are with our customers each step of the way.
However, for such an ambitious goal to succeed, we must first raise awareness of our Latino banking program. As part of our outreach efforts, we’ve hired subject matter experts, often from Latino communities, to ensure we are developing the best services for the market and the right messages to promote them.
We’ve also employed a team of professionals to support our efforts, selecting employees with a true passion for seeing Hispanic communities grow and succeed. Last, we’ve established a plan to provide products and services that truly support the Latino society, even if that means revolutionizing some of our traditional product lines.
At FNBO, we welcome customers from all communities and backgrounds and hope to support a growing culture of fairness and inclusion by broadening access to critical financial services across Latino communities. We invite all businesses to do the same.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.