FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/13/11)--Texas credit unions need to be aware of the evolving nature of the state’s population--especially Hispanics--to effectively meet the needs of a more diverse community, Texas demographer Lloyd Potter told credit union leaders at the Texas Credit Union League’s (TCUL) Leadership Conference & Expo last week in San Antonio. Texas’ population increased 4.3 million since the 2000 census, to 25.1 million, Potter said. Roughly 90% of that growth came in counties around the major urban centers, census data shows. Of that 4.3 million, 2.8 million--65%--are Hispanic, Potter said (LoneStar Leaguer
Sept. 12). “Certainly a number of those are young children, and the Hispanic population is younger, so mortality rates are low, many are in their child-bearing years and fertility rates are higher,” Potter said. Sometime in the next five to 10 years, there will be more people of Hispanic descent in Texas than there are non-Hispanic whites, he said. “If you look at kids 18 and younger, there are already more Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites,” Potter said. “And the rate of natural increase [through births] in the non-Hispanic white population isn’t even at replacement value.” “Texas is a Hispanic state, and businesses have to embrace this market if they want to survive,” Potter continued. “Without question, the opportunity is there.” Warren Morrow, president/CEO of Iowa-based Coopera Consulting, told the attendees credit unions may be reluctant to serve this market, because they perceive:
* Financial risk; * Compliance risks; and * Reputational risks--not knowing what to do, where to start; how to do it.
The Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON), an assessment tool developed by Coopera Consulting that provides credit unions a customized roadmap for serving the Hispanic community, is helping credit unions be successful, Morrow explained. TCUL partnered with Coopera Consulting in 2009, to make the HON available to all Texas credit unions. Before Texas credit unions can earn TCUL’s Juntos Avanzamos (Together We Advance) Hispanic outreach designation, they must complete the HON. Through the Richard L. Ensweiler Hispanic outreach fund, TCUL provides Texas credit unions grants to help cover the cost of the HON.