M&T Bank Expands Financial Access, Removes Language Barriers with 100 New Multicultural Banking Centers
To celebrate its increased focus on cultural fluency and expanded capabilities, M&T Bank will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Jan. 13
BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2022 -- M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) today announced it is expanding the services it provides to communities with high concentrations of ethnic and racial diversity by designating an additional 100 bank branches as multicultural centers. Located in cities across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, the centers will offer banking and other financial services in customers' preferred languages and employ bankers from the community who understand the cultural nuances of the individuals and neighborhoods they serve.
To celebrate the milestone, M&T customers, partners and employees will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today, January 13.
The expansion of M&T's multicultural banking centers – from 19 designated branches to 118 – is part of the company's mission to be a culturally fluent bank for all communities, especially as the nation becomes more diverse. People of color make up more than 40 percent of the U.S. population and over half the country's youth population, according to the latest census data.
"As this nationwide demographic shift accelerates, our multicultural banking initiative will help us meet the changing needs of our communities," said David Femi, head of Multicultural Banking & Diverse Market Strategy at M&T Bank. "With our recent designation of new multicultural banking centers, we are demonstrating our clear intention to be the bank for all communities."
The new centers will serve as community hubs where customers can receive banking services in their preferred language and with an understanding of their culture. The centers will also create opportunities for businesses, nonprofits and community members to attend networking events, financial literacy classes, collaborate on community projects, and more.
"Our community model has always enabled us to develop a deep local understanding of the people and places we serve," said Chris Kay, head of consumer banking, business banking and marketing at M&T Bank. "With our multicultural banking centers, we're taking the natural next step — providing a distinctive M&T experience shaped by the preferences and perspectives of the diverse customers who rely on us. This locally customized, empathetic approach will help families and neighborhoods have easy access to credit services — an important priority for us and the communities we serve."
M&T's first multicultural banking center branches, which launched in 2020, have informed the continuous improvement of the model aimed at reaching customers with limited English proficiency. The new center locations were identified based upon insights from community partners, M&T's local bankers and neighborhood-level census data on non-English speakers.
New Digital Tools in Multiple Languages
To make its digital banking tools easier to navigate for non-English speakers, the bank launched a Spanish-language website — available at mtb.com/es — that provides access to financial information and resources, including educational tools.
"Our multicultural banking centers are important community-gathering places for advice and guidance. Yet, with many customers embracing online and mobile banking tools, we're also building new digital capabilities designed to provide meaningful experiences and serve essential needs in multiple languages," said Mary Kate Loftus, director of digital banking at M&T.
Additionally, M&T updated its ATM network to provide services in Chinese and Korean. At over 1,600 ATMs, customers are now able to complete cash transactions in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and English. M&T also offers phone assistance in 240 languages at 1-800-724-2440.
Enduring Commitment to Multicultural Communities
These new developments are part of the bank's wider efforts to enhance its customer experience and contribute to inclusive growth in its communities. Through constant engagement with a large network of faith-based organizations, neighborhood groups and other community partners, M&T is continuously learning and developing new ways to serve local families, individuals and businesses — from organizing financial empowerment sessions to developing new products like its secured credit card to creating its Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab.
Recently, M&T's MyWay Banking Account achieved certification as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards, a set of account features identified to ensure local access to safe, affordable bank accounts particularly among underserved households. M&T has also maintained a 40-year streak of earning "Outstanding" Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) ratings, the Federal Reserve's highest-possible rating for meeting the credit needs of communities.
About M&T Bank
M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.
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