Ignoring women: Banking’s £130bn a year own goal?

By Daniel Lanyon on Friday 13 October 2017

Digital BankingAlternative LendingSavings and Investment

A new report from Kantar claims that banks and insurers are losing money by not tailoring more to women.

A new report from Kantar claims that Banks and insurers are losing money by not tailoring more to women.

Financial services firms could be missing a £130bn opportunity by not winning over women, according to a new report.

UK financial institutions are failing to connect with female customers at every stage of the buying journey, from advertising to offerings and funds, finds Kantar’s latest research. It shows financial advertising and marketing strategies fail to communicate trustworthiness, dependability or understanding – particularly to women, 65 per cent of whom report low confidence in their financial institutions, compared to 55 per cent of men.

Only 38 per cent of women claim to feel ‘in control of their financial future’ compared to 51 per cent of men. However, as the Kantar report shows, attracting and building lasting relationships with female clients is a worthwhile investment for financial institutions. Satisfied female clients are twice as likely as men to recommend their bank based on recent transactions, and when it comes to ‘everyday banking and insurance’ female clients are more attractive than male, typically holding more savings, mortgage and general insurance products.

Were financial institutions more engaging to women, and able to support women in increasing their confidence levels for saving and investing to the next decile, an incremental  - £133 billion would potentially be redirected to savings and investments.

Amy Cashman, managing director, Financial Services & Technology practice, and the study’s lead author says women’s lower engagement is also a major factor behind their concerns and shortfalls in retirement income.

"Average men’s retirement savings, at £73.6K, are three times greater than women’s, which average just £24.9K. This makes improved engagement of women in the financial sector a social imperative as well as commercial opportunity,” she said.

A disregard for tailoring communications for women is symptomatic of a wider problem in customer engagement in the sector says Alon Tvina, Managing Director of EMEA for marketing specialist Optimove.

“Kantar’s study shows that gender is a big consideration in this, and there are many other differentiating aspects which financial providers can use to understand different types of customer. Account size, spending power and age are major factors that can affect communications. All customers are not the same, and financial institutions cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to their relationships”

“The Open Banking initiative, with the Second Payment Services Directive coming in next year, will make it much clearer for customers to see which financial service companies are available to them, and make switching providers simpler.”

 “Soon traditional banks and insurers will have to make the most of the data available to them to tailor marketing to their customers, communicating with them in an emotionally-intelligent way to make them feel encouraged and valued as individuals.”

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