EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new bank in East Hartford promises a community hub for people who might not speak much English. M&T Bank promises something different. At the ribbon cutting, they called it a “Multicultural Banking Center.”

“People may not have Social Security numbers yet, but by introducing them into the banking system, a world of things opens up,” explained Mayor Mike Walsh (D-East Hartford).

M&T has more than a thousand branches and is making about ten percent of those into these multicultural centers. They are built to make people feel comfortable, with employees who speak their language.

“A multicultural staff that was hired to provide an excellent service, and they’re also able to speak different languages: Spanish, English, and Vietnamese,” said branch manager Heydi Sifuentes.

It comes at a time when M&T is under public pressure. Its merger with People’s Bank created disruptions for some customers. The bank also announced plans to lay off more than 700 employees. Bank executives told Governor Lamont that they do plan to grow jobs in the long term, and the multicultural centers will give new opportunities to underserved communities.

“Community members will come here and they’re going to transact some of the most important things they will ever do in their lives: Buying a home, purchasing a car,” said Michael Weinstoc, the Hartford Regional President of M&T Bank.

M&T said it plans to host networking events, collaborate on community projects and offer financial literary classes in the new future.