Immigrants and Financial Services: Literacy, Difficulty of Access, Needs and Solutions - The Spanish Experience

How are Spanish banks reacting to the demand for financial services from immigrant populations?
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This paper examines the nature of immigration into Spain, focusing on the financial services available to immigrants.

The paper discusses:

  • The history of immigration in Spain;
  • The concentration of immigrants in areas of unskilled, manual labor;
  • The characteristics of the immigrant population;
  • Spanish immigration laws;
  • The research into the need for financial literacy and initiatives for the immigrant population;
  • The choice of a research model;
  • The migrant population's perception about difficulties and proposals made to solve them, which include the need for:
    • Micro-credit;
    • Information in different languages.
  • Attention paid by banks, savings banks and financial institutions;
  • The services provided by two dedicated banks, such as:
    • Virtual transfers;
    • Hiring of immigrant personnel;
    • Postal transfers.

The paper offers the following conclusions:

  • Immigrants face problems in access to banking services;
  • Banks, saving banks and postal services are beginning new initiatives to meet the needs of immigrants;
  • They reflect the entrepreneurial spirit and far-sightedness of these banks or their need to adapt to new market conditions, when established in areas with a high concentration of immigrants;
  • The importance of the socio-economic growth of the immigrant population has forced a growing number of banks to plan their strategies and provide dedicated service packages.

About this Publication

By Aro, E. & Bornati, M.