Habla Espanol? First Mercantile Does

June 26, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Spanish-speaking participants in retirement plans with First Mercantile Trust Company as a recordkeeper can now conduct plan business online in their mother tongue.

First Mercantile said participants can access its new Spanish recordkeeping system from its website, www.yourinvestmentaccount.com .

Armed with their personal identification number (PIN), participants can:

  • access timely information on their accounts
  • make changes to their investment elections
  • explore investment alternatives
  • project future account balances
  • transfer funds among their accounts.

Customer Requests Prompted Change

The Spanish language alternative resulted from requests from First Mercantile clients in Texas, California, and other southwestern states.

“We have several customers out west, who have a significant number of Spanish-speaking employees,’ said Scot Lenoir, president of First Mercantile.

“Three years ago, we initiated a Spanish option for our voice response system, and it was well received. The expansion of our participant web site to accommodate Spanish as an alternate language was a natural extension of that service.’

Lenoir estimates that approximately three to five percent of the 160,000 participants in First Mercantile plans speak Spanish as their primary language.

Next Up?

First Mercantile applications development manager Alan Mock said the next language alternative will probably be Vietnamese, as that is the one most frequently requested. Mock estimates that choice will be added in approximately a year.

First Mercantile currently serves more than 2,000 companies with retirement plan and other financial services.