HONOLULU-Two recommendations have come out of the work of CUNA'sHispanic Outreach Task Force. Armando Cavazos of CU ONE inMichigan, the task force chairman, announced these tworecommendations last week to the CUNA Board during its AnnualGeneral Meeting at the Future Forum here. First, he recommendedthat the CUNA Board adopt the nine basic principles of the HispanicTask Force. These principles include: * Providing the opportunityfor Latinos to benefit from credit union services; * Providing thesame high-level of service to Latinos; * Determining if there is asignificant Latino group within their field of membership andserving it; * Developing a vision, mission, cultural intelligence,and a commitment to excellence in reaching out to and serving theLatino market; * It is consistent with the credit union philosophy;* It is good business; * Providing every member the same right tosave and borrow; * Seeking to become pacesetters in reaching out tothe Latino Market; * Applying these principles to serving otherunderserved groups and not permitting service to the Latinocommunity to inhibit service to other minority or low-incomesegments. The task force also suggested creating a Hispanic/LatinoOutreach Resource Center with a Web site, listserv, file library,and answers to frequently asked questions. It would serve as alibrary of information on how to serve the market, translatedocuments and more. According to the task force's final report, itcould eventually evolve itself into a self-sustaining organizationwith its own members and dues, governance structure and conference.Serving or not serving the Latino community can have “seriouspolitical implications for the future,” Cavazos warned. At thispoint only about one in five credit unions (19%) are active orcurrently implementing programs targeting Latino communities. “Thetask force recognizes that many credit unions do not have asufficiently large number of Latinos/Hispanics in their field ofmembership to warrant a substantial program to serveHispanics/Latinos,” the report read. “However, the Task Forcebelieves that a number of credit unions that do not yet havespecial efforts to serve Latinos/Hispanics do have a sufficientnumber of Hispanics/Latinos in their membership fields to justifysome type of program, or a joint effort with one or more similarlysituated credit unions.” Surveying credit unions that did report itwas important to serve Latinos, the task force found they offered avariety of products geared toward them, including risk-basedlending (68%), accepting taxpayer IDs for identification (59%),accepting matricula cards for identification (41%), and offeringsome member materials in Spanish (38%), among other things.Regarding those items they wanted help from CUNA and the leagueson, credit unions serving Latinos were interested in a report onbest practices, Spanish language brochures and forms, PATRIOT Actcompliance information, and other items. [email protected]

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