Banks fail to take women seriously

Banks fail to take women seriously

The finances of Australian households are controlled by women but 47% of Australian women believe their banks do not take them seriously at times.

Australia’s banks are failing to engage women effectively and, according to a new study by ad agency Hello I’m Venus, it could be a costly oversight as 69% of women singularly control their household’s purse strings.

“With one in ten women stating that banks do not understand what women want from a ‘banking relationship’, it’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done for banks looking to truly connect with the female consumer,” Bec Brideson, director of Hello I’m Venus, said.

“As women control over 80 per cent of discretionary household spending, she’s the one choosing who to bank with, and she’s the one banks need to communicate with.”

However, only 40% of women believe banks understand the needs of females.

The Commonwealth Bank was identified as the most desirable brand among women, according to the study which surveyed 409 women between the ages of 25 and 50 in October and November last year.

While CommBank was almost twice as desirable as the other big four it polarised the study’s respondents and was also perceived to be the least desirable among women.

Women who bank with smaller players, such as Bendigo Bank, had more positive experiences, suggesting the big four have the most work to do when it comes to reaching out to women.

What could the banks do better? The most popular responses were:

  • Take women more seriously
  • Take time to listen to women and understand women’s needs
  • Focus on the particular needs and desires of time-poor mums who control   household finances (73 per cent of which are in the 40–44-year-old age bracket)
  • Provide better advice to female customers

The online survey canvassed the views of women from across Australia with more than half (58%) falling in to the 35-40 age bracket. The majority of respondents were located in NSW and Victoria (68%). A total of 90% of respondents were from the eastern states.  Ten percent were located in Western Australia.

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