Pan American Bank Challenges President Barack Obama to Help People with No Bank Accounts

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By:  Stacey Bumpus
November 13, 2012

President Barack Obama faced a number of challenges in his push for re-election and is expected to face even more now that he has scored a second term. But no one would ever guess that one of his most important challenges would come from an East L.A. bank asking for help in improving financial literacy for the unbanked and underbanked.

Recently, Pan American Bank released a video titled "Unbanked or Underbanked: An Invitation to the President," that shared the enormous benefits of teaching children financial literacy as early as possible. The bank hopes the president will jump on board, making this agenda one of his latest initiatives.

Being unbanked or underbanked are common issues in the United States. The terms refer to lacking a bank account or having a difficult time accessing traditional bank accounts, loans and other banking resources.

Pan American Bank, which serves customers primarily in East Los Angeles, is making an effort to reverse the issue by challenging President Barack Obama to get involved in its financial literacy initiative.

The grassroots effort started with the video message to Obama, showcasing the financial challenges associated with lacking financial literacy, as well as the benefits of understanding money at an early age. One astounding fact from the video was that children are seven times more likely to attend college when they have a savings account in their name.

The bank aims to bring attention to "the effect that collaborative communities such as East Los Angeles can have in creating asset builders, wise consumers and a college-going culture," said Jesse Torres, chief executive of Pan American Bank.

It's definitely no secret that many Americans lack financial literacy. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed in 2011 that an astonishing 64 percent of Americans don't have $1,000 in their savings accounts, while a separate survey released by the foundation in 2012 revealed only 43 percent of American adults maintain a budget.

These figures show that many adults don't understand the importance of managing their finances. So what are some ways to increase financial literacy right now?

Find free programs: A number of free programs teach financial literacy to adults and children. Some include: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, Smart About Money, Young Americans Center for Financial Education and Junior Achievement.

Take free classes: Universities like MIT, Purdue and Yale offer free online classes on financial topics via past curriculum.

Educate yourself: In addition to the above options, you could educate yourself by learning how to budget and managing your expenditures. Taking action is the easiest path toward financial literacy.

Pan American Bank offers its own youth savings account with no monthly fee and no minimum balance, offering adults a fantastic vehicle for teaching children financial literacy at an early age. If you don't live in East L.A., be sure to check the resources listed above to financially educate both you and your children.

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This page contains a single entry by CFED published on November 14, 2012 4:14 PM.

Child's Education, but Parents' Crushing Loans was the previous entry in this blog.

Small businesses turn to alternative lenders is the next entry in this blog.

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