ALEXANDRIA, Va. -The "Latino Connection Kit," available free of charge at NCUA's Web site, provides credit unions with ideas for reaching out to the nation's large and fast-growing Hispanic community. The kit includes descriptions of other credit unions and credit union organizations' successful programs for serving the Latinos in their communities. The information was gleaned from nearly two-dozen panelists at NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz's most recent Partnering and Leadership Successes workshop entitled Making the Latino Connection. The presentations explain how to overcome immigrants' distrust of financial institutions; how to get involved in Latino communities; how to partner with Latino organizations; how to served this ethnic group; what services Latinos prefer; and what identification can be used to open accounts. "Latinos are approaching $600 billion in purchasing power – but only half have relationships with formal financial institutions," Matz emphasized. "Serving Latinos is an opportunity to reach millions of new members without competing for members who are already enrolled at other credit unions." The Latino Connection Kit is available at http://www.ncua.gov/org/ncua_board/PALS/LatinoConnectionKit.htm or can be ordered on CD at (703) 518-6338.

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