Demographic shifts tell us that financial consumers have become more culturally and ethnically diverse.
Over 65 million U.S. residents—or 21 percent of the U.S. population over the age of five—speak a language other than English at home. More than one out of every 12 people in the U.S. are limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English less than very well. This group represents around nine percent of adults living in America.
These limited-English consumers have historically found it difficult to access financial products and services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicates many of the challenges limited-English consumers encounter are related to language and financial literacy. There are also bilinguals who—though not limited English proficient—may prefer to conduct finance-related discussions in their native languages.
LanguageLine interpreters who work with banking clients and their limited-English banking customers are a powerful source of insight on how to communicate with these consumers. A recent survey of our interpreters offered a great reminder that clients are well served by considering the linguistic and cultural diversity of their clients.Read More