Women are getting richer faster than men
Women are expected to see their wealth grow 7% faster than men’s until 2020, according to the research.
However, the study also showed that 36% of women avoid using ISAs because they don’t feel they understand them well enough.
Fewer women (53%) believe ISAs are an important part of their savings portfolio compared with men (62%). This difference in attitude is contributing towards the gender gap on savings.
What’s more, the problem is getting worse rather than better – as recent changes have muddied the waters on ISAs. Around 55% of women surveyed said ISAs have become increasingly confusing over time. The publication of these findings coincided with International Women’s Day.
Suzanne Lewsley, chief deposits officer at Ford Money, believes the banking industry needs to take action to address this lack of understanding: “Are most customer experiences designed to meet their needs? Many haven’t put sufficient thought into what the customer wants. We have done a lot of work on designing the user experience to ensure that customers understand what we do.
“This research shows people are confused – and money can be challenging and frightening. To help meet long-term savings needs, it has to be easy to understand.”
On a positive note, she believes the landscape is changing. Previously seen as the preserve of men, financial services have become more diverse and inclusive.
“It is all about trust when it comes to people’s money. We’re at the beginning of a transformation about the way we talk to people,” Lewsley said.
She believes ISAs must remain a staple in the savings market and it is worrying that a large proportion of women don’t understand them: “They remain an extremely effective means for everyone to maximise wealth.”