Despite efforts by financial services firms to better reach and serve Hispanics and African-Americans, only 32% of Hispanics and 54% of African-Americans are invested in an IRA or 401(k) plan, whereas 72% of “general market” consumers are, according to research by Synovate.


Non-qualified plan ownership of stocks of mutual funds was even lower, with only 18% of Hispanics owning these and 33% of African-Americans, versus 60% of the general market.


As far as CDs are concerned, 24% of Hispanics, 25% of African-Americans and 36% of the general market own certificates of deposit.


“A substantial number of multicultural consumers don’t have jobs with retirement plans,” said Denise Marks, vice president of diversity research at Synovate. “This is particularly true for Hispanics, almost half of whom are employed in the blue-collar industry and don’t have the opportunity to participate in these types of investment accounts.”


Elliot Savitzky, vice president in Synovate’s financial services group, commented, “There are still gaps that need to be addressed.”

African-Americans fare better when it comes to any type of bank account however, with 90% having one—on par with all average Americans. But only 77% of Hispanics have a bank accounts.


As for credit cards, 69% of African-Americans and 51% of Hispanics own cards, compared to 87% of the general market.


Thirty-six percent of Hispanics say they feel they are treated well by financial institutions, only slightly below the 41% national average. However, only 31% of African-Americans are happy with customer service from financial institutions. But when it comes to those Hispanics who have not assimilated into the American culture and who only speak Spanish, only 29% are happy with the treatment they get, whereas 40% of those who are “accultured” do.

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