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Latino Daily News

Wednesday July 27, 2011

Banco Popular Renaming Branches ‘Popular Community Bank’ to Attract More Non-Hispanic Customers

Banco Popular Renaming Branches ‘Popular Community Bank’ to Attract More Non-Hispanic Customers

Photo: Attempting to lure in more non-Hispanic customers, Banco Popular is changing some branch names

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In an attempt to lure in more non-Hispanic customers, Banco Popular is changing the name of some of its Southern California branches.

Started in Puerto Rico in 1983, Banco Popular has 24 branches in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, and in the region, Banco Popular will soon go by the name Popular Community Bank.

The company has already done the rebranding in Illinois, said Manuel Chinea, senior vice president of US retail banking operations.

Chinea said the first time Banco Popular realized its Hispanic name was a problem was when it acquired Whittier-based Quaker City Bank in 2004.

“In 2005 we rebranded Quaker City Bank to Banco Popular and we noticed a higher attrition among non-Hispanic customers. The feedback we got was ‘I think you are going after the Hispanic market; I’m not Hispanic so this isn’t for me.’”

Popular Inc. has structured its U.S. banking presence as four community-based divisions in Southern California, Illinois, New York and Florida. Last August, the company decided to try the rebranding in Illinois, its smallest division. It learned that as Popular Community Bank, Hispanic customers were not lost, and it did help to bring in non-Spanish speaking people, and that on average, the accounts were 10 percent larger from new Hispanic customers and 25 percent larger from new non-Hispanic customers.

“The growth has been slow; it takes a while to get people to know the new name,” he said. “But we’re happy because it’s trending as we though it would with more accounts and higher balances. That gave us confidence to tackle our bigger markets like California,” Chinea told The Orange County Register.