Pan American Bank Featured at Tufts University’s Extreme Inclusion Conference

On May 2 and 3, 2013, in partnership with MasterCard Worldwide and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Fletcher School of International Affairs at Tufts University hosted a conference called Extreme Inclusion: Development, Dignity and Financial Services. 

The conference brought together academics, practioners, and others with an interest in solving the challenges that affect those living in financial seclusion throughout the world.

Day One of the conference was open to all registrants.  The topics discussed included: Debate Whether Financial Inclusion Means Formal Financial Inclusion; Demanding Inclusion; Inclusion Around the World; and, Extreme Inclusion in Practice.   Day Two was an invitation-only event for practitioners. 

During Day Two, Tufts University professor Kim Wilson presented a paper, “The Power of Folk Banking.”  In her paper Professor Wilson makes a case for informal banking systems among the world’s low-income populations.  However, at the conclusion of her paper, Professor Wilson states the following:  “Yet, just when we might have given up on the formal system and its various occlusions, along comes Pan American Bank with its Citizenship Loan, a legible, very useful, fairly priced loan of $1,000 for immigrants hoping to finance their US citizen application fees. Keep up these kinds of nice surprises, formal sector, and watch cash travel from the familiar mattress into your unfamiliar vault.

As the CEO of Pan American Bank I was so incredibly proud to learn of our Bank’s influence at this international conference.  Despite being the smallest full service bank in Los Angeles County, Pan American Bank has a 50-year history of being an influencer among the under-banked and under-served communities of Los Angeles.  Our mission is plain and simple:  empower and transform.  And I believe we have been able to live up to our mission, one day at a time.

I have attached with this email a copy of Professor Wilson’s conference presentation that speaks to our Citizenship Loan Program.  I have also included below links to the local and national media reports associated with our program.  My hope is that you take time to read the report, learn more about our bank and make the conscious decision to support Pan American Bank with your business.  We are not just a bank.  We are a community bank that lives up to its mission and expectation to serve the needs of the local community.  But without your support in terms of deposits, loans, and referrals, we cannot do the great work that we have done for a half century.

I thank you – our supporters, our customers, and our evangelists, for making this the Little Bank That Could.


Jesse Torres
President and CEO
Pan American Bank

Here are details about the loan program:

Media have picked up this story recently and can be found here:

To read professor Kim Wilson’s paper “The Power of Folk Banking, please click HERE




“The Power of Folk Banking”