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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – UniStar Federal Credit Union is trying to keep up with the growing Hispanic population here. The $51 million CU opened its third branch recently and staffed it with all Spanish-speaking employees. The move was sparked in large part by the growing Hispanic population here, which according to the U.S. Census and the state’s Department of Transportation, will grow to nearly 20% of the country’s population by 2010. Word of mouth is spreading about UniStar’s outreach to Hispanics, said Edward Rodgers, UniStar president/CEO, adding many members travel far and wide to do their banking at the credit union after finding out that Spanish-speaking tellers and loans officers are there. Debbie Lindsay, UniStar’s vice president of marketing and community relations, said the growing number of Hispanic members goes beyond just having bilingual employees to being able to build a relationship of trust. UniStar serves more than 7,600 members and has 20 employees. The credit union plans to open several more branches over the next year. NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz has continuously urged credit unions to reach out to Hispanic immigrants. CUNA estimates that the Hispanic market will grow by 75% in the next 25 years.

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