Pan American Bank wasted no time trying to shape the agenda for President Barack Obama’s second term.
The $40 million-asset company sent Obama a video message Wednesday about the financial challenges facing East Los Angeles and the grassroots efforts to overcome these problems.
“Unbanked or Underbanked: An Invitation to the President” touches on the need for financial literacy in the communities Pan American serves and the potential problems facing people who lack bank accounts. Studies show that children with a savings account are seven times more likely to attend college than those who do not have one, according to the video.
Roughly 28% of households were unbanked or underbanked in 2011, up almost three percentage points from two years ago, according to a report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in September.
To help combat this, Pan American offers a youth savings account with no monthly fee and no minimum balance. The bank, which was founded in 1964 by former U.S. Treasurer Romana Acosta Banuelos, also provides financial literacy to schools and created the East Los Angeles Financial Literacy Task Force.
The video aims to bring attention to “the effect that collaborative communities such as East Los Angeles can have in creating asset builders, wise consumers and a college-going culture,” Jesse Torres, chief executive of Pan American, said Wednesday in a press release.
The video was created during the summer by Pan American, members of Congress and the Los Angeles City Council and the president of the Los Angeles Unified School District, among others. It was posted online in August.
At the end Torres invites Obama to witness the challenges and solutions that have been introduced into East Los Angeles.
“We hope to see you here in East Los Angeles very soon,” Torres says to conclude the video.