EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif.--(www.UnbankedorUnderbanked.com) Pan American Bank documents for the White House the grassroots effort being undertaken to bootstrap East Los Angeles into the middle class – despite the economic conditions.)--Pan American Bank today announced the release of a video it created for the White House. In “Unbanked or Underbanked” (
“Unbanked or Underbanked” features interviews with Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Monica Garcia as well as members of the community.
“’Unbanked or Underbanked’ was created to bring attention to the effect that collaborative communities such as East Los Angeles can have in creating asset builders, wise consumers and a college-going culture. Studies have found that youth with savings accounts in their names are seven times more likely to attend college. We want our kids to have the best shot at going to college,” said Pan American Bank CEO Jesse Torres. “Pan American Bank and its partners have aggressively attacked this very important topic through several initiatives including: extensive financial literacy education at elementary, middle and high schools; creation of the East Los Angeles Financial Literacy Task Force; the implementation of a no-monthly fee, no-minimum balance youth savings account; and, the creation of the Pan American Bank Financial Literacy Ambassador Program. We are especially proud of the fact that our elected officials and the local community of schools and nonprofits have played a leadership role in this initiative.”
According to the FDIC’s 2012 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, U.S. households without bank accounts grew by 821,000 from 2009 to 2011, pushing the unbanked population to 8.2 percent of the nation’s total. Approximately half of communities such as East Los Angeles are unbanked or underbanked. According to Torres “these are epidemic numbers that will keep the U.S. from full economic recovery. Without a focus on financial literacy, including mandatory financial literacy education in elementary and middle school, our economy will not live up to its potential. National leadership must reinforce the importance of financial literacy education beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.”
Established in 1964, Pan American Bank is California’s oldest Latino-owned bank and the second-oldest Latino-owned bank in the United States. Headquartered in East Los Angeles, Pan American Bank has served the needs of the Latino communities in Los Angeles and Orange counties for nearly a half-century. Founded by the first Latina United States Treasurer, Romana Acosta Banuelos, the Bank has stayed true to its mission of transforming and empowering Latino communities through banking relationships built on trust, service, respect, communication, and guidance.