Latino Community Credit Union - Durham, North Carolina
“Our organization provides immigrants a way to build credit histories and get into the financial mainstream” - Luis Pastor, CEO, LCCU.
The Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU), a member-owned nonprofit financial institution with ten branches across North Carolina, offers bilingual financial services and financial education to the Latino community and other unbanked consumers.
LCCU was created in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of crime against Latino immigrants in Durham caused by the perception that they did not have bank accounts, and thus carried larger sums of cash and kept money in their homes.
North Carolina's financial institutions were slow to meet the needs of this largely unbanked community, which was part of one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the country. LCCU became the first financial institution in the state to offer a comprehensive, accessible, and affordable package of financial services and education to the immigrant community, with sustained outreach and partnerships with community-based organizations, religious institutions, community colleges, and other organizations.
Since 2000, LCCU has grown to 54,000 members and has provided over $127 million in financing to Latino immigrants as well as those from other countries. It also offers a highly successful financial education program targeted at low-income and unbanked immigrants with limited education. LCCU's range of products and services, available in English and Spanish, includes low-cost accounts, transaction services, consumer loans and mortgages, and web and phone account access. Recently, LCCU began offering micro-financing for individuals looking to start their own business.
LCCU is a pioneering example of how businesses can creatively step in to meet immigrants' needs where there is a gap in the market. By providing personal loans, mortgages and micro-financing for businesses, and allowing immigrants to build credit histories, LCCU is helping immigrants on their path to greater financial security.
LCCU is dedicated to breaking down the linguistic, cultural, and literacy barriers that block so many immigrants from accessing the banking services and financial education that would help them safeguard their assets and plan for the future. Having fared exceptionally well even during the financial crisis and subsequent recession, LCCU's model of providing both financial services and education in English and Spanish is clearly an effective way to encourage responsible borrowing and help immigrants achieve their goals.
Luis Pastor has been President and CEO of Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) since 2001. He oversaw the organization's expansion to 54,000 members, making it the fastest growing credit union in the United States. During his tenure, LCCU has become a national model for institutions seeking to provide financial education and services to unbanked and low-income immigrant communities. LCCU has received numerous awards including the first Wachovia NEXT Award to propel high-potential community development financial institutions to a next level of growth, success, and staying power.
Mr. Pastor, a native of Spain, has a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain; a master's in human resources from Centros de Estudios Fiancieros, Madrid, Spain; and an MBA from Instituto de Empresa (Madrid, Spain).