HONOLULU-Two recommendations have come out of the work of CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Task Force. Armando Cavazos of CU ONE in Michigan, the task force chairman, announced these two recommendations last week to the CUNA Board during its Annual General Meeting at the Future Forum here. First, he recommended that the CUNA Board adopt the nine basic principles of the Hispanic Task Force. These principles include: * Providing the opportunity for Latinos to benefit from credit union services; * Providing the same high-level of service to Latinos; * Determining if there is a significant Latino group within their field of membership and serving it; * Developing a vision, mission, cultural intelligence, and a commitment to excellence in reaching out to and serving the Latino market; * It is consistent with the credit union philosophy; * It is good business; * Providing every member the same right to save and borrow; * Seeking to become pacesetters in reaching out to the Latino Market; * Applying these principles to serving other underserved groups and not permitting service to the Latino community to inhibit service to other minority or low-income segments. The task force also suggested creating a Hispanic/Latino Outreach Resource Center with a Web site, listserv, file library, and answers to frequently asked questions. It would serve as a library of information on how to serve the market, translate documents and more. According to the task force’s final report, it could eventually evolve itself into a self-sustaining organization with its own members and dues, governance structure and conference. Serving or not serving the Latino community can have “serious political implications for the future,” Cavazos warned. At this point only about one in five credit unions (19%) are active or currently implementing programs targeting Latino communities. “The task force recognizes that many credit unions do not have a sufficiently large number of Latinos/Hispanics in their field of membership to warrant a substantial program to serve Hispanics/Latinos,” the report read. “However, the Task Force believes that a number of credit unions that do not yet have special efforts to serve Latinos/Hispanics do have a sufficient number of Hispanics/Latinos in their membership fields to justify some type of program, or a joint effort with one or more similarly situated credit unions.” Surveying credit unions that did report it was important to serve Latinos, the task force found they offered a variety of products geared toward them, including risk-based lending (68%), accepting taxpayer IDs for identification (59%), accepting matricula cards for identification (41%), and offering some member materials in Spanish (38%), among other things. Regarding those items they wanted help from CUNA and the leagues on, credit unions serving Latinos were interested in a report on best practices, Spanish language brochures and forms, PATRIOT Act compliance information, and other items. -firstname.lastname@example.org
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