California’s Oldest Latino Bank Celebrates 45 Years

Bank Founded by Former U.S. Treasurer Continues Mission of Service to Latinos

Pan American Bank (Los Angeles) today announced that it will celebrate 45 years of service to the Latino community on October 24, 2009. Pan American Bank, California’s oldest Latino-owned bank, will honor founder and former U.S. Treasurer, Romana Acosta Banuelos, at a community celebration hosted at Pan American Bank’s headquarters.

“Pan American Bank and Mrs. Banuelos pioneered Latino-focused banking decades before it became the attractive niche that it is today. Mrs. Banuelos’ rags to riches background provided her with a firsthand example of what could be accomplished within the Latino community,” said Pan American Bank President and CEO Jesse Torres. “Nearly half a century ago and without the benefit of today’s census figures showing Latinos as the emerging market, Mrs. Banuelos saw the importance of serving underbanked Latino entrepreneurs and families in East Los Angeles and Santa Ana. Not only did she have the vision to serve Latinos at a time when it was considered financially and politically risky, she set up shop in the middle of East Los Angeles, the hub of Latino activity in Southern California.”

Mrs. Romana Acosta Banuelos is a true American rags to riches story that took Mrs. Banuelos from a poor Arizona mining town to the role of U.S. Treasurer, demonstrating to the Country, the world and most importantly, other Latinos, that Latino women are able to serve at the highest level of government. But more importantly, Mrs. Banuelos’ story demonstrates that success at the highest level is not dependent on socioeconomic status but is based on dedication and a commitment to personal excellence. READ FULL STORY

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