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PR Newswire

Banco Popular Launches 'Programa Acceso Popular' And Brings It Directly To The Community And Workplace

A Community Outreach-Banking Program For Mexicans And Immigrants Living In The U.S.

May 10, 2002
Copyright © 2002
PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Banco Popular North America (BPNA), the country's leading Hispanic-owned bank, announced today the launch of its new Programa Acceso Popular, a comprehensive community outreach- banking program. Acceso Popular, which will be available at all 97 Banco Popular branches in the U.S., features tailored financial products for Mexicans living in this country. In addition, customers will also benefit from free financial seminars in the communities and at the workplace.

Joining Banco Popular officials during the unveiling of this initiative were U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez; Carlos Manuel Sada Solana, General Consul of Mexico in the Midwest; and "Don Francisco", the leading Hispanic entertainment figure in the U.S. and Latin America. Reiterating the Bank's commitment to the communities it serves, the Bank chose to make this announcement at its branch located in the Little Village neighborhood -- right in the heart of Chicago's Mexican community.

U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez said, "Banco Popular's program will serve immigrants on a number of levels. Just as important as their gaining renewed security for the money they send to family members in their home countries, immigrants can now gain the security that comes from having access to much-needed banking services here in the U.S."

Accesso Popular is simple, convenient and affordable. Customers have the alternative to establish their Acceso Popular Checking or Acceso Popular Savings account and receive two ATM cards while benefiting from all the other financial services including receiving advice from Banco Popular's professional bilingual and multi-cultural staff.

"As the leading Hispanic-owned bank in the country, we are proud to bring Programa Acceso Popular to the communities we live and work with," said Manuel Chinea, Senior Vice President, Banco Popular North America. "Acceso Popular is designed around the needs of our community and the importance of continuing to offer tailored financial products and services that will empower customers towards achieving their dreams. 

To apply for the program, customers simply visit any Banco Popular branch and fill out a bank account application. Banco Popular accepts two of any of the following Mexican government-issued forms of identification to open an account: valid passport, Consular Registration (Matricula Consular), Federal voter's registration, State voter's registration and driver's license. Customers will need to provide proof of physical address and an ITIN (individual tax identification number issued by the IRS) in order to complete the opening of the account. Customers who require an ITIN may ask their Banco Popular representative for a copy of the W-7 form. They can mail the completed form to the IRS to receive their ITIN identification.

Acceso Popular account holders can send one of their ATM cards to a relative back in Mexico to facilitate access to account funds while avoiding high fees associated with traditional money wire services. Acceso Popular ATM cards are accepted at all Banco Popular locations and ATM tellers' machines of the PLUS network in the United States and Mexico. 

"To ensure the effectiveness of this program, we conducted a six-month pilot in Chicago. We received a very positive response, thus we feel confident that Programa Acceso Popular will be embraced by the communities we serve," added Mr. Chinea. During the six-month pilot more than 500 new accounts were established, of which approximately 80% were savings with average opening balances of $1,900.

Input from Dr. Juan Hernandez, Director of the President's Office for Mexicans Abroad, was incorporated during the design phase of Programa Acceso Popular. The U.S. Hispanic community, the largest minority group in the country, commands an impressive total purchasing power estimated at $499 billion. Mexicans comprise 66% of the total Hispanic population in the United States, according to the latest U.S. Census data. In Chicago, Mexicans account for 75% of the overall Hispanic population. Banco Popular North America's branches are located among the top six leading Hispanic markets in the U.S. 

Banco Popular North America, the country's leading Hispanic-owned bank, presently operates a total of 97 branches in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Florida. Banco Popular is a subsidiary of Puerto Rico- based Popular, Inc., ranked among the country's 35 largest financial institutions with over $30 billion in assets. Banco Popular was founded 108 years ago in Puerto Rico.

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