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Bank servicing Hispanic community opens on Milwaukee's south side

The new branch will offer financial literacy resources to the community.
North Shore Bank
Posted at 9:25 AM, Mar 02, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Mayor Cavalier Johnson and North Shore Bank officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday in honor of a new branch opening on the South Side of Milwaukee.

The new branch, according to North Shore, will provide culturally appropriate banking services and financial literacy resources for the Latino community.

The goal is to increase access to baking in a growing Milwaukee neighborhood that has been historically underserved.

Milwaukee’s south side is home to the largest concentration of Hispanics and immigrants in the state of Wisconsin.

North Shore Bank has operated a small banking office inside the El Rey Foodmart at 13th and Burnham since 2014. Due to a growing need, the bank shut that location, and opened this bigger branch down the street.

It represents the first stand-alone bank in this neighborhood, filling part of what used to be a CVS Store at 13th and Burnham, near Historic Mitchell Street.

A medical clinic run by Froedtert Hospital will also be moving in.

“Froedtert is going to occupy the rest of the building, so this is going to be two services that will really improve the lifestyle of our neighborhood,” said Nelson Lang, General Manager of El Rey.

The owners of El Rey helped secure the building for these purposes.

“Our community needs someone that can relate to them, someone that can really understand their needs in such a way that when they come to a financial institution, they feel comfortable,” said Alfredo Martin, the North Shore Bank Branch Manager. “They feel they can trust the person they are talking to.”

Martin managed the North Shore Bank inside El Rey Foodmart for nearly 20 years, and now leads the new location. He moved to Milwaukee from Mexico when he was 18 years old and knows how difficult it can be for immigrants and low-income families to access quality banking services.

“One of the first challenges is the language,” he said. “I did not speak any English when I came here.”

Everyone who works at the bank is fluent in Spanish. They will offer free seminars on topics like budgeting, paying bills and operating a small business.

“We also want to counsel people on how they can get ready to qualify to buy a house, and improve their credit rating,” Martin said. “So, more families in this area can work to build wealth and improve their situation. That ultimately improves all of Milwaukee.”

The new North Shore Bank branch is located at 1316 W Forest Home Ave.

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