The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions on Tuesday said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates -- which serves CUs in Florida and Alabama -- has joined the Juntos Avanzamos program for Hispanic outreach.

The Federation said in a statement LSCU joins others in the credit union industry who understand serving immigrants is a “strategy for credit union growth” and is vital to “fulfilling our collective goal” of helping people of modest means achieve financial independence.

Juntos Avanzamos (Spanish for “Together We Advance”) was developed by the Cornerstone Credit Union League as a Hispanic outreach program in Texas. Today, the Federation is leading the national expansion of Juntos Avanzamos in partnership with Coopera, the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals, the Cornerstone Credit Union League, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, the Iowa Credit Union League, the Mountain West Credit Union Association, and the Northwest Credit Union Association.

The network of Juntos Avanzamos credit unions now numbers 70, with Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union celebrating its designation earlier this month.

Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union recently became the first CU in Seattle and the second CU in the state of Washington to be accepted into the Juntos Avanzamos program, which recognizes efforts to serve the Latino community.
Seattle Metro signs on for Juntos Avanzamos
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union recently became the first CU in Seattle and the second CU in the state of Washington to be accepted into the Juntos Avanzamos program, which recognizes efforts to serve the Latino community.

To receive the Juntos Avanzamos designation, the Federation said credit unions must demonstrate a strategic plan for improving service to Hispanics, offer bilingual services and information, collaborate with community organizations that support Hispanics, offer affordable products and services relevant to the immigrant consumer, and offer financial education in Spanish and English.

“Joining this important movement advances the 'people helping people' philosophy that is the foundation of credit unions,” said Patrick La Pine, LSCU’s president and CEO. “This program unites us in helping an underserved part of our population to establish themselves financially. It is a win-win for everyone, including our league, our credit unions and our expanding membership.”

“Hispanic immigrants contribute to our local economies by paying taxes, establishing small businesses and creating jobs. With their tradition of service, credit unions can help unbanked and underbanked Hispanic consumers build assets toward a more secure economic future for themselves and all Americans,” said Pablo DeFilippi, Federation senior vice president of membership and network engagement. “Plus, credit unions that are investing in serving their Hispanic communities are reporting faster loan and membership growth.”

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