Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our Trip to Santa Ana

On the evening of November 2, 2009, I visited the city council in Santa Ana, California.

In an act of appreciation, the city council presented to me, on behalf of Pan American Bank, a proclamation honoring our service to the City of Santa Ana for 40 years.

If you know about our bank you know that we are focused on serving the Latino markets in Southern California. When we set up shop in 1964 we started by establishing ourselves in East Los Angeles - Los Angeles County's Latino stronghold. Five years later we established a branch in Santa Ana - Orange County's Latino hub. Since then we have opened one more branch in East Los Angeles.

Something great that evolved from our interaction with the city council was a request to establish a community-based advisory council. The city council in Santa Ana has been taking a very proactive approach to improving the standard of living of their residents. Part of that initiative is what they call Bank on Santa Ana.

Pan American Bank jumped all over the Bank on Santa Ana program. This program, which seeks to convert the unbanked and under-banked segments of the City of Santa Ana, is in perfect alignment with our mission (see my post on our mission) since roughly 80% of the City of Santa Ana is comprised of Latinos.

As I stated above, the city council requested that Pan American Bank establish a board or committee comprised of community stakeholders that would work with the Bank to ensure that the residents of the City of Santa Ana have access to needed financial services. I thought it was a fantastic idea. Since our headquarters is located in Los Angeles County, an advisory board would ensure that there is always someone in Orange County looking out for community development opportunities and ensuring that needs are consistently being addressed.

We are now in the process of working with the community development officers at the FDIC, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to develop a framework that will be successful in achieving these goals. We look to having the framework completed by mid-December and rolling out the program in Santa Ana at the start of the new year.

We are very excited for the new program and we're looking forward to working with the City of Santa Ana at a more intimate level. Since we are a true community bank, what is good for the City of Santa Ana is good for Pan American Bank.

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