April 11, 2008

Vibra Bank, doing business biculturally

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Details are important when it comes to banking.

And when you’re a Latino business owner or a Mexican company doing business in San Diego, you want a bank that understands your needs, a bank that understands your language, and above all, a bank that understands your culture.

Soon Latinos will have a bank that will offers them the bicultural sensitivity to business and banking they need in order to successfully develop their business in San Diego County.

Vibra Bank, which has a tentative opening date of late May, is a bank that will try to fill a void that currently exists in banking. It will be the only bank that will specifically focus on the needs of Latinos, although it will also serve the community in general.

“We are going out of our way to serve the Hispanic community,” said Dan Schon, Vibra Bank vice president of Business Development. “We know Mexican culture and business.”

Scott T. Parker (left), president and Chief Executive Officer, and Dan Schon, vice president of Business Development, gave La Prensa San Diego a tour of the Vibra Bank facilities, which will open in a few weeks in Chula Vista to serve the Latino business community. 

Founded by a group of individuals, most of them of Latino and Mexican origin, Vibra Bank has followed the standard procedures needed to start a new brand bank.

In late 2007 it began an initial public offering of stocks, to raise funds that will be used to provide initial capital and pay organizational expenses for the bank.

Also, Scott T. Parker, Vibra Bank’s president and Chief Executive Officer, said that one of the requirements to start a bank is to put together a board of directors from the community.

Parker said that Vibra Bank was able to find leaders in the Latino community that have offered first-class advice in how to develop a strong plan to serve Latinos in San Diego.

Among the members of the board of directors are former U.S. Marshall and former San Diego police chief David Bejarano, and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and current president of the Institute of the Americas Jeffrey Davidow.

Schon, who was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States for many years, said that the unique vision Vibra Bank has will allow it to help local Latino businesses grow.

“We understand where they are coming from, we understand how they want to reach their goals,” he said.

No wonder the bank’s mission statement says that “Vibra Bank will be the only Latino bank headquartered in the greater San Diego area. The community bank will provide San Diego businesses, business owners, and professionals, with a personalized bicultural banking experience and a day-to-day commitment to first class costumer service.”

Among the unique features Vibra Bank will offer are:

• It is the only bank in San Diego County with its primary focus on the Hispanic market, which is the fastest growing market segment in San Diego.

• It is headquartered in Chula Vista, the city with the second highest growth rate in the county.

• It is a local community bank with a predominately Hispanic board of directors of both U.S. and Mexican origin.

• Its directors include individuals who have been founders and served as directors of banks both in San Diego County and in Mexico.

• Its board members are committed to outreach in the Hispanic and greater San Diego business communities and are also personally committed to its success.

• The staff of the Bank will include bicultural and bilingual individuals familiar with both the American and Hispanic cultures, and will strive to provide personalized relationship banking to our diverse clientele.

• Its convenient location, in a vibrant, expanding marketplace with an increasing Hispanic population, provides the bank with opportunities for growth.

Vibra Bank, which has a tentative opening date of late May, is located at 530 Broadway, in Chula Vista, (619) 422-5300, www.vibrabank.com.

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