A report from the Taloe [CQ] Murphy Center of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia says that when Latinos have access to bank accounts, violent crime goes down, property values may be enhanced, and institutions stand to gain new sources of deposits. It argues that financial institutions should find ways to court Latino customers and offers suggestions for best practices.
In areas where financial institutions cater to Latino customers, the incidence of robberies is dropping substantially in large part due to fewer Latinos engaging in cash-based transactions (and thus, being targets for robber). After the establishment of Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) branches in North Carolina, the number of robberies declined about 4.2 percent in the counties where these branches were located.
The report may suffer from assuming that correlation equals causation. According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, robberies overall declined by 9.5 percent from 2009 to 2010. However, it is generally accepted that having access to a financial institution can provide individuals with a place to safely store money and serve as an asset building avenue.
The report also notes that, due to the high adoption of cellular phones by Latinos that mobile banking can serve as a means to reach this population.