M&T Bank to turn 18 local branches into multicultural banking centers

Effort, which comes with more bilingual services, aims to expands financial access to ethnically, racially diverse communities

In an effort to expand its services to communities with high concentrations of ethnic and racial diversity, M&T Bank announced it has redesignating 18 bank branches in New Jersey as multicultural banking centers.

The centers will offer banking and other financial services in customers’ preferred languages and employ bankers from the branch’s respective neighborhoods who understand the cultural nuances of the individuals and communities they serve.

The branches, among the 118 multicultural banking centers the bank maintains throughout its Northeast and mid-Atlantic footprint, will feature:

  • Banking and financial services in the community’s preferred language;
  • Hiring of bilingual individuals who live in the community and understand the cultural nuances and financial attitudes of their neighbors;
  • Opportunities for local businesses, not-for-profits and community members to improve financial literacy, gain networking skills and more;
  • Access to digital tools for non-English speakers, including a Spanish-language website and ATM services in Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

Tom Comiskey, M&T Bank’s regional president for New Jersey, said the expansion of M&T’s multicultural banking centers is part of the company’s mission to be culturally fluent for all communities, especially as the region becomes more diverse.

Tom Comiskey. (File photo)

“As this nationwide demographic shift accelerates, our multicultural banking initiative will help us meet the changing needs of our communities,” he said. “With our recent designation of new multicultural banking centers, we are demonstrating our clear intention to be the bank for all communities.”

New Jersey’s Hispanic/Latino residents make up nearly 21% of the state population, while the Asian population increased almost a third between 2010 and 2020, now reaching 10%, according to Census data.

“Our community model has always enabled us to develop a deep local understanding of the people and places we serve,” Comiskey said. “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.”

To make its digital banking tools easier to navigate for non-English speakers, the bank recently launched a Spanish-language website — available at mtb.com/es — that provides access to financial information and resources, including educational tools and online branch-appointment setting.

Marcela Ramirez, M&T senior retail sales strategy manager, said she is confident the initiative will have impact.

“By providing access to banking services in multiple languages, we’ll open new pathways for our community to achieve financial empowerment,” she said.

“This designation has led to several actions locally to empower branch staff with new capabilities to serve our neighborhoods. Determined to fulfill our purpose to make a difference in people’s lives, it’s our goal to ensure our neighbors have more opportunities to connect with local bankers who understand their language, their culture and their needs.”

M&T currently operates existing multicultural banking centers at its North Bergen, Fort Lee and Teaneck branches.

M&T will be converting the following branch locations into new multicultural banking centers:

  • Bayonne branch (547 Broadway, Bayonne)
  • Bayview branch (532 Ocean Ave., Jersey City)
  • Cliffside Park branch (680 Anderson Ave. #684, Cliffside Park)
  • Cresskill branch (80 Union Ave., Cresskill)
  • Fifth Ward branch (495 Manila Ave., Jersey City)
  • Henry Street branch (313 Henry St., Orange)
  • Hoboken branch (1018 Washington St., Hoboken)
  • Jersey City branch (2530 Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City)
  • Kendall Park branch (3562 Route 27, Suite 130, Kendall Park)
  • Lodi branch (304 Essex St., Lodi)
  • Mount Vernon branch (72 Mount Vernon Place, Newark)
  • New Milford branch (715 River Road, New Milford)
  • North Brunswick branch (523 Shoppes Blvd., North Brunswick)
  • Orange branch (288 Main St., Orange)
  • Park Place branch (60 Park Place, Newark)
  • Paterson branch (162 Main St., Paterson)
  • Summit branch (341 Springfield Ave., Summit)
  • Union branch (365 Tucker Ave., Union)