ING Direct identifies female referral trend

A new report from ING Direct has revealed that referrals play a significant role in women's financial decision-making.

The ING Direct Women & Finance report, launched yesterday, found that women place a particularly high value on the opinions and recommendations of other women, be it through close relationships or social media communities.

Lisa Claes, ING Direct executive director of customer delivery, said circumstances today present a unique opportunity for financial services providers to nuance their offerings to appeal to the specific needs of women.

“There is evidence in the financial services industry of an increasing focus on women and supporting their financial needs, but I don’t believe that the industry has got it right yet,” Ms Claes said.

“We don’t need to divide the genders with a compartmentalised approach; instead there must be an integrated approach to product development, marketing and distribution that addresses female nuances seeking greater access to information, simple and straightforward communication and clear advice,” she said.

“Most profoundly, the manner in which we communicate presents the greatest opportunity for the industry.”

Presenting the report’s finding in Sydney yesterday, Ms Claes noted that with mortgages, younger women are slightly more likely to be a mortgage holder than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, men still hold the majority of investor loans.

Interestingly, there are an increasing number of young women living alone, Ms Claes noted, which should encourage mortgage lenders to innovate and develop new home loan products to allow those on a single income stream to enter the property market.

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