• January 27, 2022
 UTEP launches Banking Academy with area’s leading banks, financial institutions

UTEP Banking Academy Announcement, Wednesday, September 8, 2021, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

UTEP launches Banking Academy with area’s leading banks, financial institutions

The University of Texas at El Paso announced Wednesday the launch of the UTEP Banking Academy, supported by significant contributions from regional and national banks and financial institutions.

Part of UTEP’s College of Business Administration, the Banking Academy was created to address the shortage of banking professionals in the West Texas and Southern New Mexico region and improve participation of Hispanics in banking management roles.

Founding partners of the Banking Academy include El Paso-based WestStar, which contributed $1 million. Other banks that made significant contributions include GECU, Bank of America, Texas Bankers Association, Sunflower Bank, International Bank of Commerce and Commerce Bank, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“We can open more doors to opportunity for our students by building strong partnerships with industry,” said Heather Wilson, President of UTEP. “We are deeply grateful to our donors for making the Banking Academy possible.”

“We are pleased to partner with the banking community in creating excellent career paths for our outstanding students by building a curriculum that aligns with the workforce needs of the banks and financial institutions in the region,” said James E. Payne, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business Administration. “We are so grateful for their investment in our students’ future.”

With 90 percent of College of Business Administration’s students being Hispanic and a vast majority bilingual, finance faculty have designed the Banking Academy to leverage the unique talents of UTEP students to prepare them for a variety of careers with banks and financial institutions.

“Our banks serve a growing Hispanic population with diverse needs. Partnering with UTEP to launch the Banking Academy is a win-win — for banks facing a shortage of highly qualified bankers that understand and can meet those needs, and for UTEP students looking for outstanding professional career opportunities,” said Rick Francis, WestStar Chairman and CEO.

“I’m glad to see so many of our peer banks partner with UTEP in launching this academy, and I encourage other financial institutions that have not yet done so to join us in making this critical investment for our industry.”

“The Banking Academy at UTEP will provide the framework and education for a wonderful career path that is challenging and rewarding,” said Crystal Long, Chairman of the GECU Foundation and President and CEO of GECU.

“The GECU Foundation is thrilled to expand our support of UTEP with this addition through our GECU Empowerment Fund and with internships, volunteerism, and scholarships. GECU has a passion for students who want to stay and help our community thrive. The academy will open up educational and career opportunities that will be instrumental in keeping our students local and making a long-term impact on our community.”

“The University of Texas at El Paso is a pillar in our community, and the launch of the Banking Academy is an indicator of their ability to identify opportunities for growth and meet workforce needs in our region,” said Kristi Marcum, President, Bank of America, El Paso.

“At Bank of America, we look forward to supporting and bringing expertise to this incredible initiative. We believe it will carve a pathway to success for many Hispanic-Latinos interested in joining the banking industry.”

University officials say the core curriculum underlying the Banking Academy includes financial statement analysis and valuation, covering techniques to analyze a firms book and market values; commercial bank management with a focus on asset and liability management, stress testing, and liquidity ratio analysis; commercial bank lending, covering loan structuring, evaluation of business tax returns, global cash flow, problem loan detection, among other topics aligned with the Risk Management Association Credit Essentials Certification curriculum; and current issues in banking, which includes compliance, cybersecurity, and cross-border banking.

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