Daily Archives: November 1, 2017

Why Aggressive Financial Advice Is Turning Off Female Customers

In a era where the spotlight has never shone so brightly on the issues of equality, it’s surprising that female customers are still being treated as second-class citizens in the realm of financial services.

Ignored

A report from the research firm Kantar suggested that some women still feel belittled when dealing with financial advisers. Its author, Amy Cashman, cited an example where a male mortgage broker met with a married couple but spoke only to her husband, ignoring the wife completely. The wife then refused to do business with him.

Ms. Cashman went on to point out that women are just as competent as men when it comes to managing personal finances, if not more so. However, Alison Treharne, a financial adviser based in Plymouth, says that there are subtle differences in the way women approach their financial decisions.

A Different Perspective

Women have a natural tendency to consider the needs of the family, giving a different perspective on how they want to manage their finances. Kantar’s report showed that women rate the needs of the family and relationships as important when making financial decisions, whereas men tend to focus more on products and prices.

The arrogance and condescending attitude women are confronted with has led to a tendency towards a mistrust of professionals in the finance industry, resulting in women keeping their money in the bank instead of buying investments and pensions. The Kantar report suggested that the current attitudes towards female customers means that financial services industry could be missing out on a potential £130bn of business.

Striving for Parity

One effective solution would be to have more female financial advisers. Ms. Treharne believes that the reason she has such a high percentage of female clients is because as a female she talks to her clients in terms that resonate with them. But the gender gap in the financial advisory is still significant, as highlighted in a recent Financial Times report.

Another solution would be to offer tailored profiling support, achievable through back office systems for IFAs from providers such as intelliflo.com.

The chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, Keith Richards, said that the industry recognises the need to achieve gender parity in the way customers are treated. It seems that currently it still has some way to go.