Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Institution Offers Latino Immigrants without Bank Accounts a Safer Way to Store Money

Following a series of burglaries in North Carolina that affected numerous Latinos in the area who had the habit of storing cash in their homes, the Latino Community Credit Union opened with the intent to serve individuals without banking accounts.

According to the FDIC, more than 1 in 5 Latinos and blacks living in America do not have a checking or a savings account.

“Most of our members have never had a bank account, either here or in their home countries,” said Erika Bell, Vice President of Strategy and Services for LCCU. “Many are from Central America and Mexico, in areas with a high percentage of unbanked.”

The Federal Reserve Board found that more than 9% of all American families are among the unbanked, but for Latinos, the number is approximately one fourth of the respective population. This might have been due to discriminatory lending practices many Latinos suffer from, or from the lack of banks located in minority neighborhoods.

“Poor people are not stupid about money. They are smart,” said Mark Pinsky, CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network.  “They have to figure out a way to make a dollar go very far. They are making really pragmatic decisions, in many cases. They don’t want to pay bank fees. But you make sure people are getting products and services they need. Banks may be [the] best place, they may not, but we don’t want to just leave them vulnerable to the predators out there.”

NBC Latino

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  1. […] Herrera was praised for co-founding and guiding the LCCU to success. As mentioned before, the LCCU was founded to serve individuals without banking accounts. It has quickly become one of […]