Hispanics are the fastest growing segment in the U.S. population but are also among the most underserved minorities by financial institutions. The census estimated that the Hispanic population in the U.S. by 2006 was 44.3 million, about 15% of the total population. Notably, more than 48% of the population was under the age of 25. This growth presents a wave of opportunity that credit unions cannot afford to miss.

The Hispanic market is also gaining strength financially, making them increasingly attractive to financial institutions. According to CUNA, the most likely borrowers are members from the ages of 25 to 44. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that one-third of the Hispanic market in the U.S. earns more than $50,000 annually, and CUNA estimates that Hispanic purchasing power will reach $900 million by 2007.

Simply putting a "Se Habla Espanol" sign in your window does not mean that the Hispanics will flock to your institution. Felix Fernandez, Border Banking Group, Wells Fargo, stated in an interview with Bloomberg Business New Service in June 2003, "Many Hispanic immigrants already buy financial services, just not from banks. They establish credit with a local car dealer or furniture store and the immigrants incorrectly think, 'this is the only credit I will ever get' and pay 20-30% interest. We are trying to change that thinking." Educating the Hispanic consumer is significant in obtaining their trust and business.

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