BB&T and its community banking leaders understood early on that it takes more than mastering cultural idiosyncrasies to build enduring ties with the Hispanic community, and mobilized its retail banking efforts to launch a comprehensive outreach to its Hispanic neighbors and clients.
It also developed customized financial tools and services, established partnerships, offered seminars and community-based resources to help meet the diverse needs of Spanish-speaking audiences. These include bicultural and bilingual financial service associates, Spanish-language educational programs, bilingual customer support lines, community partnerships, and advertising and marketing campaigns that connect with Hispanic consumers and small business owners
“At BB&T, relationships are built by offering personalized attention; providing tools that help navigate a better financial path,” adds Jorge Moller, Multicultural Markets manager. “This approach enables us to create solid relationships with our Hispanic customers who confide in us to make informed financial decisions. One of our best performing financial centers is in Washington D.C. where 2010 Census reports a 21.8 percent increase in the Hispanic population.”
In addition to its financial products, BB&T’s community outreach programs feature financial solutions for personal and business organizations, and demonstrate a firm commitment to education and professional development through the BB&T/Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and the BB&T corporate internship program.
BB&T assumes a visible presence in the community through the Bank Bus mobile classroom staffed with retail and business bankers offering area residents insights on the benefits of home ownership while providing financial proficiency.
Below are some ways that BB&T demonstrates loyalty to its Hispanic clients.
Multicultural Banking Centers
In 2002, BB&T launched a corporate-wide initiative in the form of Multicultural Banking Centers designed to serve the unique needs of ethnic communities. Today, more than 260 of these centers operate across BB&T’s corporate footprint in 12 States and Washington, D.C., with close ties to the Hispanic community.
Client Service Support Line
BB&T offers a Spanish language version of Phone24, the client service support line at 1-800-BANK-BBT, and employs Spanish-speaking customer support representatives to ensure personal service for all of its clients.
The BB&T Vecino website (www.bbtvecino.com) provides instant knowledge about the resources BB&T offers the Hispanic community, fusing Spanish content and user-friendly navigation, for a positive virtual experience. The site includes: historical and corporate background on BB&T and BB&T Vecino, complete descriptions of products and services, postings of recent community efforts, a directory of financial centers and a list of key bilingual representatives available to assist clients in accessing the optimal financial products to meet their diverse needs.
BB&T’s excellence in community banking is evident in the design of new-concept financial center known as BB&T Vecino (BB&T Neighbor). More than a bilingual-staffed branch, the BB&T Vecino financial center offers an environment that fully embraces Hispanic language and culture: large and comfortable hospitality areas with Spanish-language brochures and signage, Kids Zone play areas, extended and flexible hours and no-fee coin-to-bill redemption machines.
The EnvioFacil (EasySend) Money Transfer Card allows clients living in the United States to send money to family and friends in their home country. This safe and affordable prepaid card service is available at all BB&T branch locations.
“BiBi” Educational Audio Series
Introduced in 2002, the original “BiBi” and more recently, the “BiBi Talks” audio series address many contemporary issues impacting individuals and families in today’s economy. Developed in Spanish, the two series offer practical information on topics including: Finding a job, Healthcare, Education, How to start your own business, Insurance, Emergency preparedness, The U.S. Legal System, and Fundamentals of Banking.
Developed by BB&T in partnership with Freddie Mac and CRA-NC, the Nuestro Barrio DVD series addresses financial literacy with a focus on home ownership. The Nuestro Barrio series is the recipient of the 2007 Homes4NC Affordable Housing Achievement Education Award.