Pan American Bank Provides Testimony in Support of City Services Card
EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At this morning's Los Angeles City Council Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee ("APHAC") hearing the APHAC heard testimony from Pan American Bank President and CEO Jesse Torres in support of Councilmember Richard Alarcon's (District 7) motion for the introduction of a City Services Card that provides affordable financial services to nearly 450,000 unbanked residents in the City of Los Angeles.
Mr. Torres submitted the following testimony to the APHAC: "I am pleased to submit testimony this morning to the Los Angeles Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee on the topic of a City Services Card.
"My name is Jesse Torres and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pan American Bank. We are a nearly 50 year-old Latino-owned community bank headquartered in East Los Angeles. We are California's oldest Latino-owned bank and the second oldest Latino-owned bank in the United States. Pan American Bank was established in 1964 by Romana Acosta Banuelos, the first Latina Treasurer of the United States. Pan American Bank was founded with the express purpose of serving the unbanked and underbanked Latino communities of Los Angeles.
"Pan American Bank fully supports a City Services Card Program for Los Angeles' unbanked population. Such a program may positively impact up to approximately 450 thousand Los Angeles residents.
"As a banker located in East Los Angeles that works daily to eliminate the unbanked I can attest first-hand to the benefits that such a program can bring.
"First, a City Services Card Program can provide consumers with the peace of mind that a family's financial assets are safe, secure and free from risk of theft. Second, a City Services Card Program provides protection against the physical harm that frequently occurs when consumers are forced to carry excess amounts of cash on their person. Third, a City Services Card Program can eliminate predatory financial service providers such as check cashers and payday lenders. These fringe financial service providers have been found to cost unbanked low-income consumers up to $1,000 per year in fees and up to $40,000 in a lifetime. And finally, the introduction of a City Services Card Program to Los Angeles' unbanked community will facilitate financial literacy education, allowing participants to become wise consumers and asset builders - and hopefully allowing many to bootstrap themselves into the middle class.
"Several cities with smaller unbanked populations have already successfully implemented similar programs. It is time for Los Angeles to play a leadership role by providing the tools needed to create financially responsible and financially literate residents. Thank you."
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.
Pan American Bank
Tony Ramirez, 323-264-3310
KEYWORDS: United States North America California
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