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N Y CUs take steps to grow Hispanic membership
DES MOINES, Iowa (12/11/12)--Four New York credit unions are taking steps to serve Hispanic members in the inaugural Hispanic Member Growth Strategy Program, a program of the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) and Coopera.

Coopera, a firm that helps credit unions reach the critical Hispanic market, will provide resources and counseling to New York credit unions working to grow their Hispanic membership in the program.

The program helps small (assets under $25 million) and mid-sized ($25 million to $500 million in assets) New York credit unions expand their business opportunities by serving the Hispanic market, according to Coopera CEO Miriam De Dios.

"Today, 17% of New York's population is Hispanic," De Dios said. "And by 2025, one in five New York residents will claim Hispanic heritage. Because it is a largely underserved group, yet one of the largest and fastest-growing demographics in America, helping Hispanic members navigate the U.S. financial system is important to the overall credit union mission."

Through the program, Coopera works with the credit unions to identify Hispanic outreach opportunities in their neighborhoods and create affordable banking alternatives to meet the needs of this community. Credit unions participating in program include:

  • Cooperative FCU of Syracuse;
  • Entertainment Industries FCU of New York City;
  • Bridgeway FCU of Poughkeepsie; and
  • MSBA Employees FCU of Rockville Centre.
Compared with other U.S. ethnic groups, the Hispanic population is very young, according to Allison Barna, director of the New York Credit Union Foundation and Community Development for the association.

"New York credit unions looking to lower the average age of their membership must consider investing in these members as a part of their overall efforts," Barna said, noting that the program "gives them access to Coopera's expertise, including identifying outreach opportunities within their neighborhoods, as well as creating affordable banking alternatives to meet the needs of Hispanic members within their community, at a significantly reduced price."


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