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Hispanic Customer Base Rapidly Expanding

The recent Census Bureau revelation that the Hispanic population has overtaken the black population as the largest minority group has not gone unnoticed by the banking industry. Census found that between 2000 and 2002, the Hispanic population grew almost four times faster than the rest of the country. Meanwhile, TowerGroup research estimates that 70 percent of growth in the U.S. financial services industry over the next five years could stem from reaching out to Hispanic customers.

As a result, many financial institutions have geared up to be in line when that rapidly growing population needs banking.Bank of America, which estimates that over the next five years, the Hispanic market will grow to $750 billion, says it expects 80 percent of its consumer bank growth to come from what it calls "non-Anglos" - Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans. Of that amount, it expects 60 percent to be Hispanics. Among the marketing tools the bank is using to reach that audience is a series of television ads on Spanish-language channels.

Citicorp Inc. and J.P. Morgan are reaching out through the Web. They are two of only a handful of U.S. online banking Web sites available in both Spanish and English.

J.P. Morgan hopes to take advantage of the Hispanic market's home-buying needs. It is working the National Council of La Raza, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and other groups to reach Hispanics and other under served communities.

Copyright © 2004 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 13, No. 10, 1/04

First published on 01/01/2004

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