Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. Adam Mirza/Unsplash

Hispanic-owned banks play an important role for Latinos living in the U.S. These banks offer banking products like checking and savings accounts in Hispanic communities but make them more accessible often by eliminating fees or by having low initial deposits. They also attract Spanish-speaking customers by eliminating language barriers through Spanish websites and mobile apps, and they make credit cards and loans more accessible by having more favorable terms than traditional banks.

Hispanic-owned banks are classified as Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) by FDIC. According to the FDIC's classifications, a financial institution can be classified as an MDI if 51 percent of ownership is owned by "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals," or if a majority of the board of directors are minorities and the community it serves is a predominantly minority community.

National banks like Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are some of the most popular and are considered to be convenient entities because of their large network of branches and ATMs. However, these banks often don't cater to the specific needs of Latinos, according to Unidos US, a Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group. High banking fees, low access to credit and other factors has led many Latinos to not rely on banks, and according to a 2021 FDIC study 9.3 percent of Hispanic families are underbanked and are more likely to turn to predatory financial services such as payday loans.

According to the FDIC, there are 30 Hispanic-owned banks in the U.S., with $140.2 billion in combined total assets. These are the ten largest banks in the U.S.

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Founded in 1893, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR) is the largest Hispanic-owned bank with over $58 billion in total assets, according to FDIC data.

The bank has since expanded from Puerto Rico and now services areas of the Caribbean and Central America. Banco Popular De Puerto Rico offers traditional checking and saving accounts and other financial services like home mortgages, personal loans and credit cards.

BPPR is the parent company of Popular Bank, a Hispanic-owned bank headquartered in New York that ranks as the third largest Hispanic-owned bank.

FirstBank Puerto Rico

Also headquartered in Puerto Rico and often referred to as First BanCorp, it was founded in 1949 and has $19.1 billion in total assets. Aurelio Alemán is the company's president and CEO.

FirstBank Puerto Rico offers fee-free checking accounts, mortgages and financial services for commercial and institutional clients in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Florida.

Popular Bank

Popular Bank is a subsidiary of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico; however, unlike its parent company, it operates in the U.S. mainland. The bank has 38 branches across Florida, New York and New Jersey, and it has $12.54 billion in total assets.

Popular Banks offers traditional banking products, home equity lines, home mortgage loans, life insurance and investment consulting.

Oriental Bank

Oriental Bank is an MDI based in Puerto Rico and was founded in 1964. The bank has $9.9 billion in total assets. Oriental Bank operates only in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In recent years, it has acquired units of international banks that operate within Puerto Rico. In 2012, Oriental Bank purchased BBVA Puerto Rico from the Spanish bank.

Oriental Bank offers various financial products for personal and commercial use. It provides banking accounts, car loans, point-of-sale solutions and commercial credit, among other services.

International Bank of Commerce

The International Bank of Commerce (IBC) is a Hispanic-owned bank with branches and ATMs in Texas and Oklahoma. The bank also offers banking services for customers in Mexico. IBC has $8.9 billion in total assets.

The International Bank of Commerce provides U.S. and Mexico customers with free checking accounts. Its other products include savings accounts, retirement planning, life insurance, certificates of deposit and commercial loans.

Ocean Bank

Ocean Bank was founded in 1982. It is based in Florida and has 23 branches throughout the state. Its branches are only in the following counties: Miami, Miami Beach, Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Hialeah, and Pinecres. It currently has $6.2 billion in total assets.

Ocean Bank has an array of traditional financial products like checking and savings accounts, business credit cards and certificates of deposit. However, it also offers customers a personal money market account, which pays higher interest rates than traditional checking accounts.

Banesco USA

Banesco USA was founded in 2006 and has locations in South Florida and Puerto Rico. In 2010, Banesco USA, which used to operate under the name BBU Bank, acquired Banesco International Bank Corp., which gave the bank a presence in Puerto Rico. According to the FDIC, Banesco USA has $3.5 billion in total assets.

Banesco USA offers a savings account with a 1.35 percent APY, which is significantly higher than the APY at traditional banks. The Florida-based bank also offers checking accounts, consumer loans, money market accounts and business loans.

Lone Star National Bank

Lone Star National Bank was founded in 1983 with only ten employees. Since then, it has grown to over 700 workers across 38 locations in southern Texas. The bank has $2.79 billion in total assets.

Besides the traditional suite of banking accounts, Lone Star National Bank offers customers wealth management services and an array of insurance products for personal and commercial customers.

Ponce Bank

Ponce Bank is an MDI bank with locations in New York and New Jersey. The bank was founded in 1960 and has $2.65 billion in total assets. According to the bank's website, it provides loans that support local businesses and reinvests into the Hispanic community.

Ponce Bank offers banking services for individuals and businesses, but in recent years Ponce Bank has partnered with Raisin, an online financial services platform, which has enabled it to provide customers with better high-yield savings accounts and CDs. The current APY on its certificate of deposits stands at 3.80 percent. Ponce Bank also offers Traditional and Roth IRAs.

Commercial Bank of California

The Commercial Bank of California is a Hispanic-owned bank that provides financial services and products to businesses. The bank was founded in 2003 and has $2.25 billion in total assets.

The Commercial Bank of California provides customers with banking products with competitive APY rates. It also offers business lending and payment processing services that help businesses send and receive payments.

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