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M&T Bank Expands Multicultural and Diverse Market Initiatives Aimed to Enhance Inclusivity

Angel Harmon

It has become evident that multicultural consumers are a significant factor for the financial services industry. M&T Bank is ahead of the curve in their continued development and comprehensive initiatives to pursue the multicultural market.

“It’s not necessarily selling them banking products. It’s truly understanding them, understanding their banking needs, understanding their banking and financial behaviors….,” shares David Femi, manager of M&T Bank’s Multicultural Banking & Community Affairs Segment.

M&T’s approach is different from the general transactional-type service model. The bank builds on community relationships and human engagement aided by media, marketing, language, and culturally relevant support.

“We’ve launched our limited English proficiency program,” says Femi, where M&T is identifying branches in “areas or communities that depict high concentrations of racial, ethnic, and language diversity.” This helps the bank to double down on recruitment efforts and expand hiring of bilingual bankers. 

M&T has begun deploying marketing materials and collateral into those branches, designating them as multicultural locations. This way, customers see images and pictures of people that reflect themselves within their communities. Bankers are even given name tags with the name of their country and the language they speak. “Our customers love it. We’ve been getting a ton of feedback and customers just love it,” Femi adds.

The bank took a step further to translate small business educational materials to grow and attract those customers. “When our bankers go out, especially those that are bilingual in these languages, they can have meaningful conversations,” says Femi.

M&T believes that to reach multicultural customers, language access must be built into all consumer touch points and the community bank operates as a hub where customers can access financial products and services that help them achieve all of their financial goals.

“We are in the process of doing online appointment setting in multiple languages. We want to make sure all of our customers can benefit from this virtual dispensation,” shares Femi. 

In a move to expand diversity beyond race and ethnicity, M&T is also pursuing customers with disabilities. “We’ve recently launched something called Magnusmode. It’s an educational platform that allows people with [cognitive and intellectual] disabilities to be able to do their banking self-serve,” says Femi. 

M&T is fully vested in growth within their local communities, and they are truly committed to seeing their customers happy, making them earn some of the highest customer satisfaction in the industry. “Our goal is simply to be the best bank that takes care of our customers better than anyone else can——it’s all about building a culturally fluent bank, using culture to connect effectively across all diverse markets where we serve” says Femi. “I have no doubt that we will grow the bank with multicultural households because of these capabilities we’re building. We will continue to keep our multicultural customers and communities at the center of all we do.”

For more information about M&T Bank or its multicultural initiatives, visit www.mtb.com/multicultural.

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