Employing Multilingual Employees in Banking and Finance Pays Off

Language skills are vital in a world economy that becomes increasingly integrated.

Employing Multilingual Employees in Banking and Finance Pays Off

While foreign language skills may not be the most obvious requirement in the financial sector, the business world is experiencing rapid global development. With the global economy becoming increasingly integrated, the flow of capital crosses both cultural and language barriers grows. As globalization increases, it will become increasingly important for employees to be fluent in more than one language. English is no longer the language of business. The ability to translate into Mandarin, Chinese, German, Arabic, Spanish, and many other languages, is essential.

The Human Factor

The major factor in the demand for bilinguals in the workforce is primarily the human factor. Human engagement and interaction cannot be automated by machines. The need for high quality human interaction and engagement is important in all levels of business and across industries, especially when a high degree of interaction is required across diverse groups of people. According to an NEA report, the highest number of online postings for bilinguals are in the banking sector.

Global integration has increased the demand for a bilingual and multicultural workforce. Consequently, Spanish has become an important language in global finance since it is a language that covers a significant global territory. In fact, China has become more aggressive in encouraging Spanish as a second language as China continues to expand its influence in foreign investment and capital in Europe and the Americas.

In the banking sector, it is important for employers to hire bilingual and multilingual employees who can communicate and relate to their diverse customer base. Banks are one of the most important customer-oriented industries.

Taiwan has taken note of the importance of multilingualism in banking. According to Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo, all bank branches in Taiwan are expected to offer Chinese-English bilingual services by 2030. Travelers require banking on the road. By requiring banks to become bilingual, Taiwan is ensuring that travelers feel comfortable doing business in their country.

Finance Demands Accuracy

In business, conveying simple meaning doesn’t cut it. Without accurate information and communication, this level of globalization would be impossible. Finance thrives on accuracy and detail. Therefore, corporations will increasingly seek out professional finance translation teams to make sure that their financial transactions are exact.

There are technicalities everywhere in the finance world. Therefore, even the slightest slipup can be a costly one. For this reason, businesses are finding themselves needing to rely on employees that can succeed beyond cultural and language barriers more than ever. Poor and inaccurate translations are often far costlier than training staff in a second language. In 2009, HSBC had to launch a $10M rebranding after discovering the difference accurate translation can make. The bank’s slogan “Assume Nothing” had been translated to “Do Nothing” in some languages–not the kind of message a global bank wants to send.

Aside from being financially costly, poor or inaccurate translations damage brand image. In a highly-competitive globalized finance industry, businesses, investors, and banks simply cannot afford to make their foreign clients feel undervalued or sidelined.

Complex financial deals require hundreds and sometimes thousands of documents to be accurate. A single mistranslation has the potential to ruin a deal. Therefore, businesses must ensure that they provide accurate, readable documentation for potential investors around the globe. In turn, investors must be sure to communicate globally to locate the best investments. Having someone on staff who you can trust to translate is essential to achieving these goals.

There are plenty of places where translation can go wrong. For example, when pitching for funding, you’ll need a presentation deck containing an overview of your business model and information on your team, market, solution, competition, and financial overview. At the same time, you will need legal documents proving the status of your business. You may also need to prove legal ownership of your ideas and solutions with patent documents. The translation of these documents is just as important as the original. If a poor translation results in the business plan being difficult to read, the financial projections being wrong or implausible, or a legal document being factually incorrect, it becomes unlikely that the business will receive an investment.

Finance professionals must maintain an excellent command of language to succeed in an industry in which precision and accuracy are paramount. Whether it’s comprehending specific terminology or international rules and regulations, brokering a deal in a second language or writing crucial financial reports, employees must be fluent to be successful. Employing people who can provide these services is crucial for businesses in the financial industry.

Multilingual Employees Save Time

Not only does communication in the business sector need to be accurate, it needs to be timely. Clients do not want to wait for another party to hire a translation team, take the time to brief them on the project, and then finally get to work. In order to stay competitive, businesses must employ workers who can provide on-site, on-demand language services.

Having a solid second language base that your employees are confident in will save time and money. Instead of clearing communication hurdles, language training in finance will allow employees to focus on more complex projects that bring in more clients and revenue. Once your employees have completed their language training, the world will open up to them. They will be better prepared to work with foreign clients and be able to travel to foreign countries confidently without the need of a translator. They’ll also be able to help with presentations and marketing materials in the second language.

In our fast-paced world, customers expect quick, easy, and reliable services. A report by The Language Flagship shares that businesses servicing multilingual customers expressed concerns about having the appropriate language capabilities on staff. For banks, this means having multilingual tellers who can provide growing immigrant communities dealing with the intricate issue of financial planning.

Business transactions often require lengthy meetings and interviews. When a conversation can be complex or time-consuming, hiring a translating service to translate via telephone will not suffice. In order for conversation to be meaningful, conversations between two parties with a language barrier should take place in person. Having someone on staff who can translate at a moment’s notice is far superior to having to hire and schedule an outside interpreter who may or may not be familiar with complex financial terminology.

Not only does it pay to have someone on staff to translate meetings, but employing someone who can provide document translation, particularly confidential or time-sensitive documents, is key. By training someone in your company in a second language, you won’t have to worry about third-party confidentiality or hiring someone who doesn’t quite understand the language of business.


Companies that employ employees with language skills open themselves up to more opportunities locally and internationally. Employees with language skills fast-track processes and are a huge benefit to customer service. Get your employees on the fast track to bilingualism with MondlyWORKS. Email us today at business@mondly.com to find out more. 

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