Calif. League Publishes Manual On Hispanic Market

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The California Credit Union League has distributed to its member credit unions in this state and Nevada a 438-page manual on understanding the multifaceted Hispanic community and how best to provide native- and foreign-born Latinos with financial services.

"The Hispanic Manual: Serving the Latino Community" was produced by the league's research and information department, includes demographics of Latino communities, details about operational and regulatory issues, marketing strategies, best and less successful practices of credit unions serving Hispanic communities, and business cases.

Aside from credit union-specific issues, the manual contains a list of predominantly Hispanic credit unions in California; a Spanish-English/English-Spanish glossary of financial terms; background on aspects of Hispanic culture such as religion, etiquette, values, entertainment, sports, holidays, and the importance of family; and a roster of Hispanic advertising agencies and vendors.

The manual is divided into 12 sections and four appendices, and comes in a three-ring binder. It is preceded by a forward by Juan Hernandez, who served on Mexican President Vicente Fox's cabinet as Minister for Mexicans Abroad.

"Serving your Hispanic community requires more than providing business forms that have been translated into Spanish, Spanish marketing materials, and a bilingual staff," the manual counsels. "Credit unions that want to serve Hispanics need to understand cultural differences, and adopt flexibility and commitment toward altering lending policies, understanding how to serve undocumented individuals, and providing the necessary education to help Hispanics unfamiliar with financial services and U.S. credit union services."

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