M&T Bank Establishes Multicultural Banking Centers to Enhance Local Branch Experience

Grant Street branch designated for added resources as part of M&T effort to build deeper, more meaningful connections with multicultural communities

(pictured above are members of the Grant Street Staff)

M&T Bank will expand its multicultural banking initiative by establishing multicultural banking centers throughout its local branch network. The bank will direct added resources to several branch locations that serve communities with high concentrations of ethnic and racial diversity. In Buffalo, M&T’s Grant Street branch has been selected for this new designation, which will empower staff to better serve local customers with limited English proficiency.

“We care deeply about meeting the unique needs of our diverse community of customers. That means we need to show up in new and different ways to better serve our multicultural communities,” said David Femi, head of M&T Bank’s Multicultural Banking & Community Affairs Segment.

“We are investing in infrastructure that prioritizes a deep understanding of multicultural consumers’ financial attitudes and behaviors to create meaningful, distinctive M&T experiences for them,” Femi added. “We want our customers to visit our branch locations and be able to access the support and services they need in their language of preference.”

The designation as a Multicultural Banking Center leads to several local actions:

  • Branch employees will be empowered to become certified to communicate in the community’s languages of preference.
  • Hiring, training and employee-retention practices will be adopted to ensure branch staff deeply understand the community they serve and its cultural nuances.
  • Additional resources and access will be provided to branches to enable employees to share insights into ways to improve the bank’s products and services for multicultural customers.
  • Financial literacy and financial empowerment training sessions will be held to create greater access to banking services and address common questions and challenges faced by customers.

 

“With this designation, we are actively working to eliminate barriers to building relationships,” said Kay Tuholski, branch manager at M&T’s Grant Street branch. “When we communicate in our customers’ language of preference, and when we foster mutual understanding, we can empower people to achieve their financial goals and help build community wealth. Our team at the Grant Street branch is excited about being selected as a Multicultural Banking Center, and we’re looking forward to the additional support and resources we will have to help our customers.”

Located at 130 Grant Street, M&T’s Grant Street branch is at the center of a vibrant neighborhood on Buffalo’s West Side. The community has seen an infusion of energy and vitality, as immigrants and refugees from countries around the world settled into the neighborhood, started businesses and sparked a resurgence. M&T has hired three people who speak Burmese and live in the neighborhoods surrounding the branch as well as an assistant branch manager who is fluent in Spanish. The bank is also training other branch staff members to achieve greater cultural fluency to better offer guidance and assistance to customers. Branch signage and information packets have been translated into Burmese, Spanish and other languages to meet the needs and preferences of each customer.

M&T’s Multicultural Banking Centers 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 works to stay close to its communities and develop new ways to serve local families, individuals and businesses.

It regularly hosts financial empowerment sessions, in addition to its ongoing interaction with customers, to ensure people have access to the information they need to take control of their finances and achieve goals, such as buying a home, growing a business or improving credit. M&T’s local business bankers are also focused on empowering multicultural small businesses by providing the community resources and capital they need to grow and create jobs.