Lost in Translation? RBC Breaks Down the Language Barrier
RBC makes it easier for newcomers to manage their finances
in 180 ways
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 first financial
institution 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
"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
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,"
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.
About the Environics Poll
The findings were conducted by Environics Research Group on
behalf of RBC in April 2011. Respondents were recruited from
an online consumer research panel and are made up of 597 immigrants
residing in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Prairies
who are first generation and have lived in Canada for three
years or less. Quotas were applied to represent the different
regions and ethnicities in Canada. Data was weighted according
to population data from the 2006 Census to represent the population
as closely as possible. A survey with an unweighted probability
sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would
have an estimated margin of error of ±4 percentage
points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been
had the entire population of immigrants in Canada been polled.
All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources
of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and
About RBC Welcome to Canada Package
For more than seven generations, RBC has been supporting newcomers
by providing them with resources and tools that make the transition
to a new country seamless. The RBC Welcome
to Canada package helps newcomers who have been in Canada
for less than three years with key financial decisions and
includes advice and discounts on products and services. Details
on The RBC Welcome to Canada banking package, newly offered
preferred rate on Foreign Exchange transactions for 12 months,
and branch locators that identify representatives who speak
up to 180 languages, can be found at rbc.com/settlequick.
For more information, please contact:
RBC, 416 974-2727