Atlanta Fed Hosts Conference on Access to Banking in the Americas
One of the goals of the Americas Center—the Atlanta Fed's initiative devoted to greater understanding, cooperation, and coordination with Latin American, Caribbean, and Spanish financial institutions and markets—is to spur dialogue and collaboration among institutions and nonprofit groups that want to bring more people into the mainstream banking system.
The Americas Center's March 18 conference, "Access to Banking in the Americas," convened in Miami on the campus of Florida International University, was held to further this goal. "We want to continue our engagement in the development of strategies to increase access to banking," said Ana Cruz-Taura, the Atlanta Fed's community development director in Miami. "One of our primary roles in this initiative has been to convene and encourage collaboration among the organizations involved with developing and promoting responsive banking products and services."
Exploring the benefits of financial education for customers
A conference speaker from the Brazilian bank Banco Itau, Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, detailed the institution's use of financial education to, for example, help identify customers who are delinquent on loan payments or have had checks returned. Those customers might need more counseling, so Banco Itau assigns a staff member to work with them and to make sure they are using appropriate products. That program has helped the bank keep customers and reduce losses, Cordeiro told the conference audience.
Initiative unites various groups
April 27, 2009