Thursday, May 11, 2017

Four Reasons Credit Unions are in a Great Position to Serve the Financial Needs of Women

On Mother's Day (and every day) we give thanks to all women for the significant role they play in our lives. This time of year, we tend to reflect on the positives our moms have brought to life for us—like unconditional love, heartfelt support and selfless guidance. Today, many women are also a powerful influence in their families’ finances. In fact, women in the United States:

We also know that 85 percent of women over the age of 40 has had one or more child. They are complex consumers with unique needs. Compared to men, research suggests that women:
  • Live longer.
  • Earn and save less. 
  • Are more likely to take career breaks to raise a family.
  • Invest more conservatively. 

With this in mind, it’s not hard to see that women are most likely to thrive with financial partners that not only understand their circumstances, but champion their financial well-being through every stage of life.

Below are four reasons why credit unions are in a great position to serve the financial needs of women.

Strong Female Representation in the C-Suite: According to a report from the Filene Research Institute, credit unions in the U.S. have a higher percentage of female CEOs than other institutions. In fact, 53 percent of all credit union CEOs are female, and 70 percent of all credit union employees in the U.S. are women. More women across the industry and in executive-level positions means that women are strongly represented in the decisions credit unions make and the services they provide.

Lower Fees: Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions. This means they can offer lower interest rates on loans and credit cards and higher rates on savings accounts and CDs. First and foremost, they exist to protect members’ financial security, which may be important for women who closely and carefully manage their families’ finances.

Champions of Financial Planning: Credit unions have their members' best interest in mind when it comes to financial literacy and planning. For women, this is significant since 92 percent are eager to learn about financial planning, yet only 47 percent are confident in talking money and investments with a professional. Studies show that women stress about money more than men and are more likely to seek financial advice for a change in life circumstances. They can trust their credit union to set them on the right financial track because, as members, they are the first priority—not helping shareholders make a profit.

Customer Focus: Research suggests that women desire a personal, human touch when it comes to banking. This is good news for credit unions since they are known for providing flexible and personal customer service. In fact, credit unions regularly earn the highest ranking for customer experience in the financial services industry. Many women will face a series of major events over the course of their lives, from having children, to taking temporary or permanent breaks in work, and providing care for aging parents. Credit unions have a member-focused philosophy and are there to support women through every life event.

From all of us at CUNA Mutual Group, have a very happy Mother's Day!