Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tennessee banks to Hispanic customers: "Trust us"

Majority of Hispanics do not use banks

Spanish-language radio campaign

The Nashville Business Journal reported in two recent articles (here and here) that Tennessee banks are seeking the trust of Hispanic consumers.

The first article describes the recently launched Spanish-language statewide radio campaign developed by the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA). The ads run through February 19 and can be heard or downloaded via the TBA web site here.

The second article states that "[a]lmost half of Hispanics are 'unbanked,' meaning they don't put their money into savings or checking accounts. Hispanic buying power is estimated at $600 billion. By 2050, Hispanics will make up about 25 percent of the U.S. population."

'There's been a lot of discussion among bankers about this,' says Bradley Barrett, TBA president. 'We've been asking, 'What can we do?' We decided that we can help Hispanics understand that banks are a good place to manage financial resources.'"

"Southeast Financial Credit Union is aggressive in its marketing to Hispanics. It was one of the first local institutions to offer mortgage lending through nonprofit agencies and has distributed about $15 million in mortgages to Hispanics in the past three years, says John Simmonds, CEO and president."

"'Of the 200-some-odd mortgages we've made (to Hispanics), we haven't had one default,' Simmonds of Southeast Financial says."

"SunTrust in Middle Tennessee is continually adding bilingual employees to meet the needs of the Hispanic market, says Tatia Cummings, emerging markets manager."

"'We've grown 700 percent, from two bilingual tellers to 22,' Cummings says."

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