Comptroller of the Currency
Administrator of National Banks
Reaching Minority Markets:
Community Bank Strategies
The growth of minority populations and projected increases in their buying power provide
significant opportunities for retail growth by financial institutions. Community banks are using
a variety of strategies to target specific minority markets in the United States. This report will
examine selected community bank strategies, their impact on bringing unbanked consumers into
the banking system, and some risks and regulatory considerations associated with each strategy.
The information presented here was obtained from a variety of sources including financial
institutions. Discussions with financial institutions focused on community banks, so that the
strategies presented in this report might be appropriate for other community banks that are
interested in expanding outreach to minority markets. Thus, references to “banks” in this report
generally apply to community banks.
I. What Are the Strategies Presented in this Report?
Depending on their business model and targeted customer base, community banks are using a
variety of strategies to reach minority consumers. Some banks use a number of these strategies
simultaneously, and others have selected specific approaches from the larger list of strategies.
Generally, these strategies include tailored products and services, nontraditional banking products,
alternative credit analysis for loans, transition programs to traditional banking products, a focus
on employee hiring and development, and a commitment to serving small business needs in the
II. Why Are these Strategies of Interest to Banks?
These strategies are attractive because they can assist banks with developing customers from
growing minority markets, many of whom currently use nonbank financial service providers, such
as check-cashing outlets and money transmitters, for their finan