CUNA’s research shows that credit unions that are intentionally financially inclusive grow memberships, loans, and assets faster, without harming portfolio quality. CUNA Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Samira Salem was joined by other credit union leaders for a webinar Thursday on the business case for serving Latinx consumers.
Latinx in the U.S. are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group, and half were unbanked or underbanked compared to one-third of whites in 2017.
CUNA evaluated Coopera’s Hispanic Outreach Program, which provides demographic analytics, consulting services, and training to help credit unions with outreach and service to the Hispanic/Latinx market.
It found that credit unions that participate in the program:
“For almost 15 years now, Coopera, Juntos Avanzamos, other organizations, have all proven beyond a reasonable doubt there is a business case for serving these populations,” said Victor Miguel Corro, CEO of Coopera. “This is why credit unions were created, to provide access, and that’s the very definition of financial inclusion… to reach these communities there needs to be that curiosity internally at a credit union which leads to a thorough, methodical, thoughtful and holistic approach, and that’s what we’ve helped credit unions implement for the last 15 years.”
The Juntos Avanzamos designation (translated: “Together we advance”) is offered by Inclusiv for credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic consumers.
Designated credit unions:
“The numbers are consistent with what we’ve see in the marketplace for a number of years,” said Pablo DeFilippi, senior vice president of membership and network engagement with Inclusiv. “Financial inclusion is not only a sustainable endeavor, but a driver of growth.”
Damian Alarcon, associate vice president of community relations at Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif., shared his credit union’s experiences serving Hispanic populations in Northern California.
Travis has 60,000 Hispanic members, an 85% growth since 2012. The credit union has also launched Hispanic community, internal advisory, and leadership committees. These efforts have informed other DEI initiatives at Travis CU.
“With Hispanic initiatives, it takes time to build those relationships up, it takes commitment, which everyone on this call has said,” Alarcon said. “But it only matters if your leadership, management and employees are in alignment with what your community needs. It’s not a goal or a project, it’s something you commit to for the life of your credit union.”
A recorded version of the webinar is available free to CUNA members here.