Report
142
Number
Nov 16 2007

Financial Services and Product Usage by Latinos in the United States

According to Barbara Robles, an associate professor at Arizona State University and author of Filene Research Institute’s latest study, most financial institutions do a marginal job serving the fastest growing ethnic population in the United States: Latinos. Listen to Robles expert opinion on how credit unions can better serve this underserved market:

In the full report, Robles, a Filene Research Fellow, continues her research on financial product and service usage among Latinos in the United States. First, she shares publicly available data on the Latino market and presents a compelling narrative of this population of 44.3 million strong.

Next, Robles presents results from a three- year data collection effort that yielded nearly 15,000 survey observations. The survey, conducted in U.S. – Mexico borderland communities during tax preparation sessions, provides an insightful glimpse into the financial behaviors and desires of Latinos in the United States. Specifically, Robles examines behaviors related to savings, tax refund usage, international remittances, intergenerational lending and borrowing, and other elements of their financial lives.

Beyond the data, which are fascinating, Robles offers several practical suggestions for credit unions and other consumer finance firms looking to reach out to this specific market segment:

1. Reduce the level of complexity of your offerings,

2. Understand the fundamentals of being “culturally appealing”,

3. Partner with local community-based organizations.

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Report Number 142