Connecting with Women could Create £130B Financial Service Opportunity

Financial institutions in the UK are missing a potential ~£130B investment opportunity because their advertising and offerings fail to connect with female customers.  According to Kantar’s new Winning over Women study, financial institutions are overlooking female customers’ needs at every major step of the customer journey, including:

  • Advertising that fails to engage or solicit a positive response among female viewers as often as it engages men, and that fails to consistently communicate core tenets of ‘trustworthiness’, ‘understanding’, ‘dependability’, and ‘accessibility’ to women when compared to men’s responses,
  • Advertising which solicits positive responses from women less often than from men – according to analysis by Kantar’s facial recognition technology ‘Intuitive Association’
  • Often projecting unwelcoming, self-interested personalities during client engagements with relationship advisers,

This reduced level of female engagement together with women’s lower level of confidence is depressing saving rates among women:

  • 65% of women vs 55% of men self-identified as having ‘low confidence’
  • 20% of both men and women self-identified as having ‘medium confidence’
  • 15% of women and 25% of men self-identified as having ‘high confidence’

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.

Investing in dedicated campaigns for attracting and building lasting relationship with female clients is a meaningful priority more broadly. Kantar’s research also revealed:

  • Satisfied female clients are twice as likely as men to recommend their bank based on recent transactions.
  • In ‘everyday banking and insurance’ female clients are more attractive than male, typically holding more savings, mortgage and general insurance products than men, and typically are more loyal.
  • Women are more responsible borrowers than men, taking a more conservative approach to the barriers on the journey to homeownership, such as deposit requirements, monthly affordability and extra costs.

The study found two thirds of men under-estimated the cost of buying their home, compared to less than half of women2. To overcome this challenge men;

  • Borrow from friends at almost four times the rate of women (27% vs 7%)
  • Borrow money from family at almost twice the rate or women (34% vs 19%)
  • Take bigger mortgages at more than twice the rate of women (36% vs 16%)

Responding to the Winning over Women study, Bart Michels, UK country leader for Kantar commented: “Financial institutions are focusing their efforts on the confident, rather than the competent. In failing to develop client experiences rooted in men and women’s fundamentally different perspectives on finance, financial services institutions are missing a very significant business opportunity.”

Amy Cashman, managing director, Financial Services & Technology practice, and the study’s lead author added, “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.”

Kantar’s ‘Winning over Women’ study will be presented in full on Wednesday 11th October. The full report can be found at uk.kantar.com.

Author: Dylan Jones

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