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Helping Newcomers to Canada
As Canada's most international bank, Scotiabank has a unique perspective on the varying needs of newcomers to Canada. This is enhanced by how our employees reflect the diversity of the communities where we operate, and understand and embrace the cultural nuances of the Bank's diverse customer base and can speak their language of choice. The Scotiabank StartRight® program was designed for newcomers to make settling in Canada easier. For example:
Helping newcomers start right in Canada:
- The StartRight program offers newcomers free day-to-day banking for one year and a variety of other investment and borrowing products and services that have been customized to meet their unique needs.
- Without a credit history in Canada, newcomers trying to establish themselves in Canada face an obstacle. Our Multicultural Banking unit has worked to simplify the Bank's policies and procedures, in order to help newcomers gain credit. Our Scotiabank advisors are versed in financial literacy and readily deliver advice on banking basics, to help newcomers build good credit so that they reach their financial goals sooner.
- Scotiabank's customer contact centres serve customers in Punjabi, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, French and English. In 2011, access to new Scotiabank StartRight deposit accounts and credit cards was made available through our contact centres, providing increased flexibility for customers.
- Through a 2012 sponsorship initiative with Languages Canada, Scotiabank is helping fill the void in financial skills for newcomer students. Through the Bank's Multicultural Banking unit, a straightforward and informative financial literacy presentation was created as a resource for the growing number of international students studying in Canada each year. The presentation provides advice on practical topics such as the difference between a chequing and savings account, debit vs. credit card, how to manage money and how to build a solid Canadian credit history. This presentation has been delivered at Canadian college and university student associations, campus events and language schools, where our advisors help empower international students to start managing their finances independently and responsibly.
- Through Scotiabank branches in India and Mexico, and partnerships with Kotak Mahindra Bank (India) and with China Everbright Bank and Bank of Xi'an (China), newcomers can establish their banking relationships with Scotiabank in Canada prior to leaving their home country.
Speaking customers' language:
- The StartRight website (scotiabank.com/startright) offers resources for newcomers — those coming to Canada and those who are already in Canada — in eight languages.
- Services at our ABMs are available in English, French, Spanish, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Scotiabank's 3,467 ABMs across Canada also accept and can process the withdrawal requests of cardholders belonging to China's UnionPay card network.
- We develop multicultural marketing communications that branches can customize and print in multiple languages.
- Scotiabank has a partnership with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) to help immigrants develop social and professional networks needed to find job opportunities. TRIEC offers mentoring services to new immigrants, where Scotiabank employees serve as mentors, helping new Canadians build resumes, perform mock interviews and research careers. In 2012, Scotiabank became a founding sponsor of TRIEC's Professional Immigrant Networks (PINS) website initiative (www.networksforimmigrants.ca). PINs provides immigrant professionals with access to members of their professional community and helps newcomers connect to employers and other key stakeholders.
- Starting in 2011, as title sponsor of the CHIN International Picnic, Scotiabank helped bring together people of all ethnic backgrounds, creating a greater sense of community and intercultural understanding. In 2012, in concert with the picnic, the Scotiabank Rising Stars contest was launched, shining the spotlight on amateur musicians from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds.
- Scotiabank is a continued supporter of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and the Newcomers to Canada Day Planner. The planner is an essential settlement tool and has been distributed at no cost to 100,000 newcomers through Toronto and Vancouver international airports and newcomer settlement agencies across Canada in 2012.