El Banco de Nuestra Comunidad, the innovative financial institution that offers check cashing and other products and services to Spanish speakers without banking ties in Atlanta, has hired Customer Service Marketing Inc. (CSM) to help it expand in the metro area and elsewhere in the Southeast.

“El Banco hired us because of our business approach to customer service and our language capabilities to help them do research about the Latino market in areas where they are considering opening new locations,” Frank Sanders, president of Marietta-based CSM, told GlobalAtlanta.

Mr. Sanders founded CSM, a business-to-business customer and market research firm, in 1991 and the company conducts research and interviews in 13 languages besides Spanish, including Arabic, Cantonese, German, Japanese and Russian.

He said that Spanish speakers on his staff conducted personal interviews in locations where El Banco branches may be established so that they would have direct contact with the residents of the neighborhoods being considered.

El Banco was started in a Roswell community center providing phone cards, money orders and check cashing for a fee. Memphis-based National Bank of Commerce, a subsidiary of National Commerce Financial Corp., recently acquired 19 percent of El Banco’s holding company, Nuestra Tarjeta de Servicios Inc.

“The Hispanic community is a valuable contributor to the economy but yet has very little access to the financial services that meet their needs,” William R. Reed, president of National Commercial Financial, said in a statement when announcing his company’s intention to open additional El Banco branches.

El Banco’s expansion is expected to grow further when SunTrust Banks Inc. acquires National Commercial Financial by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.

Once the acquisition is completed, El Banco’s customers could have access to a much larger branch network.

CSM began offering foreign language services in 1994 to assist Ritz Carlton Hotel Co. with a project in Latin America. Since then, it has expanded its language capabilities to serve manufacturing, information technology, financial service and healthcare clients globally.

For more information about CSM, call Mr. Sanders at (770) 250-1611 or by e-mail at fsanders@csmresearch.com For more information about National Commerce Financial, call Timothy Schools at (901) 523-3288.