TruMark Brings Branch to Unbanked Community
If TruMark Financial Credit Union had evaluated the site of its branch in northeast Philadelphia solely only on the statistics, they may never have opened it.
At least 29% of the area's residents lived beneath the poverty line in 2009, compared to 12% for the Philadelphia metro area overall, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Forty percent of the area's children lived in poverty, compared to 16% in the metro area over. Almost 24% of residents had no high school diploma.
Oscar Torrealva, manager of the TruMark branch, expanded on this point, noting that it was not enough to just have tellers and other branch staff who spoke Spanish.
Forging relationships with area organizations was particularly important, Torrealva explained, because those groups often provided the reassurance and endorsements that potential members needed to feel comfortable approaching the CU.