Banks are trying, but many American minorities remain "unbanked," according to Synovate's 2008 U.S. diversity markets report. Aegis Group's market research arm found progress has been made, but not enough to bring about parity. "While the percentage of U.S. Hispanics with any type of bank account is up seven percent, from 70 percent in 2004 to 77 percent in 2008, this is quite low when compared to the general market and African-American consumer, both of which are at least 90 percent," according to the Synovate findings.

Even more sobering are the low levels of ownership of other financial services for both groups. Only 54 percent of African-Americans and 32 percent of Hispanics have IRAs or 401k plans, compared with 72 percent of general market users, the survey shows. Just 33 percent of African-Americans and 18 percent of Hispanics own either individuals stocks or bonds, or shares in mutual funds versus 60 percent of general market consumers. Certificates of deposits attract 25 percent of African-Americans, 24 percent of Hispanics, and 36 percent of all customers.

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