Thursday, 12 October 2017 09:58

Women find financial services “aggressively masculine”

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Old Mutual Wealth website Old Mutual Wealth website

Women find the world of financial services “aggressively masculine” and this factor deters them from seeking financial advice or buying financial products, according to a new report from research firm Kantar.

The report suggests that financial services needs to adapt and evolve in order to engage better with female clients and one of the report's backers suggests one way to do this is to recruit more female financial advisers.

Kantar sought views from 30,000 women and concluded that women often feel “diminished” when speaking to a financial adviser and viewed some male advisers and male mortgage brokers as “arrogant and untrustworthy.” In one case a male mortgage broker spoke only to the man when a husband and wife went to see him and the wife refused to let the sale go through.

The report highlighted that many women were likely to leave their money in a bank because they were so put off dealing with male financial advisers.

Jane Goodland, responsible business director at Old Mutual Wealth, which supported the research, said: “Kantar’s report on women’s perception of financial advice sheds light on how men and women consume advice differently and flags how the industry needs to continue to evolve.

“In the past it may have been that financial decisions were made by just one family member, typically a male. However, that perception is outdated. Our research shows that 40% of women aged 30-45 are the primary decision makers when it comes to the household finances.

“The Kantar study highlights that women have a different focus when it comes to dealing with their finances. They are more concerned about relationships and family members, whereas men are focused on products and price. This means that women are looking for a fundamentally different conversation about their finances.”

On the positive side, Ms Goodland said the financial advice profession is rapidly modernising, spurred forward by the Retail Distribution Review, and new initiatives are looking to change the “face and reputation” of financial services.

Ellie Armson, a recent graduate of the Old Mutual Wealth Financial Adviser School and a financial adviser, says the best way to combat the feeling of exclusion is for more women to enter the financial adviser profession.

She said: “The best way to battle women feeling excluded from the financial advice world is to encourage more women to enter the arena. I find the financial service professions – particularly the advice world – is one of those profession really suited to women, because it plays to their strengths.

“The nature of supporting clients with a diverse range of goals means I might one day be helping a couple realise their ambition to enjoy a wholesome retirement. The next day, I could be offering a family the reassurance of financial stability with a sensible protection plan.”

• Young female Financial Planner Chloe Moran recently wrote a column for Financial Planning Today on the opportunity for the Financial Planning profession to recruit more female Financial Planners. Read her views here: Chloe Moran Comment

Last modified on Thursday, 12 October 2017 10:07
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