DES MOINES, Iowa (1/19/11)--Village CU, Des Moines, Iowa, is seeing its member base grow by getting to know the Latino culture. Now 12% of its members are Latino. The $8.5 million asset credit union credits its growth to Coopera Consulting, a Clive, Iowa- based consulting group that helps credit unions attract Latino populations in their areas. Coopera Consulting is owned by the Iowa Credit Union League and works with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and was featured in Tuesday's Des Moines Register. Warren Morrow, CEO and founder of Coopera, told the newspaper that to have true outcomes, "the mainstream institutions need to come to the realization that their future is tied to the Hispanic community….that they're interdependent." That means rethinking how they do business. He suggested that the root issues for Hispanics include isparities in access to assets, access to wealth and economic stability in the household. He suggested hiring bilingual employees and offering culture specific services--such as low-fee remittances and home loans for non-resident, tax-paying individuals--to get new members in the door. Then credit unions can introduce the new members to mainstream banking practices. Serving the Hispanic community fits well with the mission of credit unions and it makes sound financial sense, Mark Condon, CUNA senior vice president of business and consumer publishing, told the Register. "If you're looking to grow and reach more younger people, you need to look at Hispanics, because that's where the growth is coming," he said. Condon is liaison to CUNA's Hispanic outreach committee. "Coopera is helping credit unions do good business by doing good." For the full article, use the link.