If you walk into the new Bank of Montreal branch at Kingston Road near Lawrence Avenue, the first thing you might notice is the number of language spoken there.
This 4,000 square foot branch, opened a few weeks ago, is now ready to provide multi-linguistic service to the diverse residents in east Scarborough.
A dozen in all, the languages include Yoruba (West African), Russian, Turkish, Urdu, Dari, Uzbek, Mandarin, Cantonese, Amharic, Greek, Adare (form of Gaelic), and Tagalog.
“Our tellers with multiple language services have their shifts start at 9:30 a.m. and then we have one that starts at 12:00 p.m. also,” said Hector Habon, assistant branch manager.
For most of the time, this BMO branch always has customer service representatives who can speak different languages. But what language service they can provide depends on their shifts.
“Sometimes we will have a rotation where there won’t be somebody speak a certain language. We usually put up a sign to let customers know we speak your language, but there needs to be two people who speak that language for us actually to put that sign up.
“But we do have people speak different types of languages as well. So it really depends on who is going to be on there at that time,” Habon said.
According to the branch manager Andrea Hazell, this BMO branch is still “fresh” and needs to advertise itself more in the neighborhoods to let people realize its presence.
“We’ve actually done a ‘walk and knock’ for the entire month of October, seven days a week,” Hazell said. “We went to every neighborhood, and we gave out chocolates and 2,000 eco-friendly bags.
“We are now going into a couple of schools and communities and conducting financial presentations. We are trying to capture those youth and help them get into our bank.”
Regarding to the tough economic situation worldwide, BMO is trying to gain their customers’ and clients’ confidence by providing good financial suggestions.
“We are ‘making money make sense’ by providing the clarity customers need to make sound financial decisions,” Hazell said. “Our commitment has never been more relevant than it is now given today’s economic realities.”