Two years ago, a group of respected Latino businessmen in Chicago launched a bank with a simple marketing plan: build it, and they will come. The city's 1.2 million Hispanic residents, they reasoned, would flock to a bank owned by folks who lived in their community and spoke their language.
As it turned out, they were very wrong. In its first year, Pan American Bank attracted a meager $10 million in deposits. So management tried some kitschy-sounding promotions, such as a "psychic fair," featuring fortune tellers in the lobby, to lure potential customers from the check cashing outfits down the street.