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Sunday, January 23, 2022

M&T Bank Expands Financial Access to Ethnically, Racially Diverse Communities

Courtesy Photo: M&T Bank

M&T Bank is expanding the services it provides to communities with high concentrations of ethnic and racial diversity by designating 17 bank branches in Greater Baltimore as multicultural banking centers and launching ATM, account opening, lending, mortgage, and other banking services at a new community empowerment center in West Baltimore.

The newly designated multicultural banking 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 communities they serve. These branches are among the 20 multicultural centers M&T now operates in Greater Baltimore and 118 the bank maintains throughout its Northeast and mid-Atlantic footprint. In Greater Baltimore, M&T has a total of 91 bank branches.

M&T also has contributed $50,000 toward renovation of the new Bethel Empowerment and Wellness Center in the city’s Upton neighborhood – a facility in which the bank could begin offering certain banking and financial planning services to residents by mid-year. M&T will have naming rights and access to ground-floor space in the 20,400-square-foot building where residents will be able to conduct basic transactions via a full-service ATM. They also will be able to open new accounts, apply for small-business loans and affordable housing mortgages and take credit counseling and other financial planning courses offered by M&T bankers.

The expansion of M&T’s multicultural banking centers and new partnership with Bethel are part of the bank’s mission to be culturally fluent for all communities, especially as the region becomes more diverse. Baltimore City’s Hispanic/Latino population nearly doubled during the past decade – growing from 4.2% of the city’s population in 2010 to 7.8% in 2020, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Maryland’s Hispanic/Latino population increased from 8.2% in 2010 to 11.8% in 2020, according to census data.

“As this demographic shift accelerates in the Baltimore area and beyond, our multicultural banking initiative allows us to continuously meet the changing needs of our communities,” said Augie Chiasera, M&T’s regional president for Greater Baltimore. “With our recent designation of new multicultural banking centers and plans to expand services in Baltimore City, we are demonstrating our clear intention to be the bank for all communities.”

The multicultural banking center locations were identified based on insights from community partners, M&T’s local bankers and neighborhood-level census data on non-English speakers. The branches must employ at least one multilingual banker and be in a community with a population of at least 10% Asian American, Polish or Russian or 20% Hispanic/Latino or Black. 

In Baltimore and its surrounding counties, M&T will convert the following branch locations into multicultural banking centers:

  • Highlandtown, Baltimore City
  • Patterson Park, Baltimore City
  • Eutaw Street, Baltimore City
  • Howard Street, Baltimore City
  • Gardenville, Baltimore City
  • Federal Hill, Baltimore City
  • Smith Avenue, Baltimore City
  • Reisterstown Road, Baltimore City
  • Kirk Avenue, Baltimore City
  • Painters Mill, Baltimore County
  • Hillendale, Baltimore County
  • Woodlawn-Rutherford, Baltimore County
  • Owings Mills/New Towne, Baltimore County
  • Randallstown, Baltimore County
  • Wilkens Plaza, Baltimore County
  • Parole, Anne Arundel County
  • Riviera Beach, Anne Arundel County

M&T also operates multicultural banking centers at its Fells Point (Baltimore City), St. Johns Lane (Howard County) and Bethany Lane (Howard County) branches.

“This designation has led to several actions locally to empower branch staff with new capabilities to serve our neighborhoods,” said Matt Calhoun, M&T’s retail banking regional manager for Maryland. “Determined to fulfill our purpose of making a difference in people’s lives, our goal is to ensure our neighbors have more opportunities to connect with local bankers who understand their language, their culture and their needs.”

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