News : RBC Breaks Down the Language Barrier for Newcomers
TORONTO, June 20, 2012 -- Starting a new life in a new country can be an exciting experience, but not without its challenges; among these is language. To help newcomers overcome the language barrier, RBC is the set to offer a multi-language telephone service through its branch network that enables clients to go into their local branch and, with their personal banker, discuss their financial affairs via a three-way confidential conference call in their preferred language.
"We understand how critical communication is in our line of business and, as a client, the last thing you want when dealing with your finances is for details to get lost in translation," said Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC "Language is a common obstacle for newcomers and we are breaking down this barrier by making it easier for clients to do business with us."
Today's announcement is the latest example of RBC reaching out to newcomers in their own language. RBC launched its multi-language telephone service through its Contact Centre in 2008. Now, more than 200 RBC Royal Bank branches, including the top 175 branches in multicultural communities across Canada and new and existing RBC retail stores, will have the capability to assist clients with their financial needs in up to 180 languages. Additional branches will offer this capability in the future.
Recent RBC research found that most (84 per cent) newcomers who have been in Canada for less than three years speak a language other than English or French most often at home. More than four-in-ten (43 per cent) newcomers who have been in Canada for less than three years say speaking their language is one of the top three reasons for choosing their financial advisor.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada's allophone population, a person whose mother tongue is not English or French, neared 6.3 million in 2006, up 18 per cent since 2001. As a group, allophones made up 20 per cent of Canada's population in 2006, up from 18 per cent in 2001 and 17 per cent in 1996.
"We want to ensure a connection with our clients. We recognize that communicating to clients and, in particular, newcomers in their preferred language reduces anxiety and helps us be more sensitive to cultural differences," added Sy.
To date, RBC has communicated with clients in 136 languages, with the most common language requested being Spanish, followed by Mandarin, Punjabi, Cantonese and Vietnamese.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Royal Bank:
The Royal Bank of Canada serves seventeen million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide. The company's primary corporate offices are located in Toronto, Ontario, while it is officially headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The bank was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012
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