NEWS18 November 2016

Women want safety not risk in financial services

Finance News Trends UK

Women are increasingly in control of their own, and their families finances, and yet the industry is failing to reflect this. Jane Bainbridge reports

woman writing on a document while having a cup of coffee

From the advertising images, to the terminology used, financial services are still rooted in a male culture that alienates most women, according to a Victoria Thrift, associate director at BritainThinks.

Thrift was sharing her insight, garnered from workshops investigating what matters to women in financial services, at the Market Research Society’s Financial Services Research 2016 conference, held in London yesterday. BritainThinks carried out workshops to delve into women’s attitudes to finance in conjunction with FT Money.

While men might connect with the notion of "making money", for women it’s more about security and their approach is more cautious and considered. "The need to feel safe strongly defines women’s approach to financial planning," said Thrift.

And when it comes to investment, women are generally less confident than men. For women it’s seen as risky, short-term, about quick wins and for ‘spare’ cash. Instead they view property, savings and pensions as ‘safer’ options.

She identified five rules financial services companies could adopt for engaging with women:

  • Celebrate the role that women take pride in – the success of their approach to money management
  • Respond to women’s need for security with a tangible account of what happens to their money
  • Make it clear that the outcome is more than just profit – it’s preparing for their family’s future
  • Recognise women’s need to have control – choose words carefully avoiding ones that celebrate risk
  • Because a trusted advisor