Consumer Action and Capital One Partner To Provide Basic Banking Information

Contact: Diana Don, Capital One, (703) 205-1165
Ken McEldowney or Linda Sherry, Consumer Action, (415) 777-9648

Focus on Immigrant Population Including Latinos

Falls Church, Va., (July 23, 2002) - According to the Federal Reserve Bank, nearly 13 million or one out of four Latinos living in the United States do not have bank accounts.
Further, according to a recent Money Wi$e survey, 68 percent of Spanish-speaking individuals are not aware of any free resources available to help them manage their finances. To address this need, Consumer Action and Capital One are announcing the third phase of the Money Wi$e program entitled "Basic Banking," which will provide this community - as well as other immigrant populations - with multilingual brochures concerning the banking fundamentals they need.

"Capital One partnered with Consumer Action to provide tools that will help the underserved communities understand how to better manage their finances." said Diana Don, Director of Financial Education at Capital One.
"Opening a bank account provides a stepping stone to building a firm financial foundation and building good credit."

Success in Two Earlier Money Wi$e Phases

During the first two phases of the Money Wi$e program, "Good Credit" and "Money Management," Consumer Action and Capital One have distributed more than 300,000 brochures through community centers and fulfillment of mail-in requests from consumers. "Through our outreach, we have touched a broad range of people from a variety of ethnic and financial backgrounds," said Guadalupe Aguilar of Consumer Action. "Based on the feedback we have received from people in communities across the nation, we have developed the third in our Money Wi$e series of free resources on banking basics for the Latino as well as the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities."

"The Money Wi$e publications and other multilingual brochures from Consumer Action are vital to our education efforts in the Latino community," said George Llanos, Business Counselor at the Women’s Business Resource Center in Bronx, N.Y. "Individuals in the community have found the Spanish materials extremely helpful and ask when new Money Wi$e brochures will be available."

Materials Focus on Top Financial Problems

Through the Money Wi$e partnership, the growing Latino population has access to free brochures in English and Spanish that teach responsible banking methods in simple, straightforward terms.
These new multilingual materials discuss the fundamentals of banking, from opening a bank account to balancing a checkbook, and include tips for resolving problems such as mixed up deposits and bounced checks.

In addition to English and Spanish, the Money Wi$e series of brochures are also produced in Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. Money Wi$e brochures are available at more than 7,000 community organizations nationwide. These brochures focus on the top problem areas: "Understanding Credit," "Money Management," "Basic Banking," and "Going from Bad Credit to Good Credit."

Top Tips on How to Set Up a Bank Account

From "Basic Banking," a Money Wi$e publication from Consumer Action and Capital One

Different banks have varying requirements, but in general, Latinos will be well prepared if they can provide the following:

  • Photo identification (ID) such as a driver’s license, state ID card or passport.*
  • Social security number.
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill or lease.
  • Mother's maiden name for use as a security password on the account.

* The Mexican consulate has introduced a card called matricula consular for those immigrants who lack the required documents. These cards are now being accepted at a number of banks across the nation as proof of identity.




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