May 2, 2005


Banks look to Hispanics (MARY WISNIEWSKI, 5/02/05, Chicago Sun-Times)

Big and little banks in the Chicago area are ramping up their efforts to lure a growing and lucrative population -- Hispanics.

Banks are hiring Spanish-speaking tellers, printing up Spanish-language brochures, and offering better ways for immigrants to send money to the old country. They're sponsoring parades and neighborhood festivals, advertising on Spanish-language radio, and working with community groups to teach financial literacy classes.

But no bank should expect quick results for its investment, agree those who have worked in the Hispanic market. The keys to bringing in Hispanics are language, community outreach, education, recognition of cultural differences, and the slow process of building trust.

Hispanics -- from newly arrived immigrants to third-generation professionals -- are a major economic force in Illinois. According to the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in 1997, 31,010 Hispanic firms operated in the state.

This year, the Chamber expects that number to grow to 47,230 firms, generating $7.33 billion in revenue.

if they'd sealed the border sooner we could have killed off this economic opportunity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2005 8:35 AM

It's not economics that worry me, it's voting for the failed socialistic policies they left, especially when they're not legal.

Posted by: Sandy P. at May 2, 2005 10:40 AM

Indeed. Banco Popular seems to be very, uh popular.

Posted by: Rick T. at May 2, 2005 11:35 AM

In NYC, they are a staggeringly under-served community by the financial establishment, especially when it comes to commercial lending. Commercial banks do not want to lend to Hispanics in cash businesses in shaky areas, and their reasons for doing so do not make economic sense. A lot of these folks end up borrowing from non-traditional sources that charge leg-breaker rates.

Posted by: bart at May 2, 2005 11:59 AM

Apparently, the rule of law means nothing to OJ.

Posted by: Slider at May 2, 2005 6:21 PM

No one need obey an unjust law.

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2005 7:13 PM

When the Latino workers send their paycheck to their folks back on the Old Sod, do the workers go on welfare?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at May 2, 2005 7:33 PM

Who decides whether a law is unjust? Some of our laws may be dopey but no one can seriously say that we lack procedural due process, or that anyone's constitutional rights are being violated. Is it a subjective standard? Couldn't Richard Petty argue that he is a great driver and should be allowed to go 150 MPH on I-40? Couldn't I claim that since I've had alcohol pretty much every day since I was about 10, that I 'know' when I've had too much and should be allowed to drive around with a glass of cheap red wine should I be so inclined? Should someone be able to say,'When I was 14 years old, I liked 14 year old girls, my tastes haven't changed.'

Posted by: bart at May 3, 2005 10:02 AM

You're allowed to say whatever you want, but we'll do something about it. We won't do anything meaningful about immigration.

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2005 10:57 AM