Failure To Serve Women Costs UK Financial Firms Billion In Revenues - Study

Robbie Lawther, Reporter, London, 16 October 2017


Women account for more than half of the global population, but as yet another report says, the financial services industry is missing out on serving them adequately.

Financial services firms miss out on more than £130 billion ($173 billion) per year in revenues by ignoring demands of female clients, according to research by Kantar, a research and data provider.

Kantar used a variety of survey methodologies to reach its conclusions, including social media analysis of more than 600,000 online conversations, and over 30,000 interviews with women in the UK.

The report, which is called Winning Over Women, found 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. It also found that only 38 per cent of women claim to feel in control of their financial future compared to 51 per cent of men

According to Kantar, this does amount to a huge loss of potential revenue for financial institutions, as women, who are generally more responsible borrowers than men, are more discouraged from using additional financial products. If financial institutions are more engaging to women, and support women by increasing their confidence levels for saving and investing, Kantar believes that £133 billion would potentially be redirected to savings and investments.

“Financial services companies haven’t always had to worry about reaching out to individual customers, in particular due to the low switching rate between different providers,” comments Alon Tvina, managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Optimove, the relationship marketing hub. “But just because a customer hasn’t taken their business elsewhere does not mean banks are offering optimal value to them. To build stronger relationships with clients, banks and insurers will increasingly need to mould their services, and the way they communicate, creating a dialogue tailored to each individual," Tvina said.

Tvina added: “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.”

Financial institutions have started to reach out more to female clients in order to attract them to their firm. UBS started a programme called UBS Unique which, over the next five years, looks to make long-term change in the financial industry to better serve women and enable them to make the most of their wealth. 

Women’s growing financial power and the quality of wealth managers’ provision for them is the subject of a soon-to-be-released research report produced by WealthBriefing in collaboration with Boston Multi Family Office and Wealthmonitor (an Acuris company).  The research is based on surveys and interviews with ultra- and high net worth women, senior executives and front-line advisors from around the world.

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