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Big bank eyes female dollar

The business and networking capabilites women customers bring will restore the reputation of banks that cater for them well, according to Westpac.

The business and networking capabilites women customers bring will restore the reputation of banks that cater for them well, according to Westpac.

WOMEN customers, the business they bring and their networking abilities will restore the reputation of banks that cater for them well, according to the head of women's banking for Westpac.

As Westpac launched an ongoing multimillion-dollar ad campaign targeting women, the bank's director of women's market, Larke Riemer, said the female economy globally was a massive opportunity. To succeed, banks had to recognise women's needs and speak to them the way they wanted to be spoken to.

Westpac will, for the first time, roll out ads targeting women's financial issues, beginning with this month's superannuation ads. The ads highlight some alarming statistics for women, including that about 50 per cent of women don't know how much is in their super, and four in five women retire with no super.

Ms Riemer said the campaign would focus on different financial issues facing women at relevant times of the year and the TV ads would be supported by a large print campaign.

''We've always been at the forefront of doing things for women but this is a first, having a marketing campaign for women with TV ads and a big promotion. Banking as a sector realises that if we're going to be any good at what we do you have to understand your customers.''

Westpac also this year relaunched its four-year-old Ruby Connection, a website for women, which features financial information, networking opportunities, profiles of successful businesswomen and a question and answer forum.

''No major bank has ever gone out and targeted women like we have. With Gail Kelly as our CEO we really want to make a difference for women,'' she said.

Ms Riemer, who was this week speaking at the Global Banking Alliance for Women summit, said Westpac first launched a project to position itself as the bank of choice for women 15 years ago.

''But what really upsets me is it's not moving, women are still not taking control of their super. Whether they see Westpac or anyone else, we need to wake women up to the fact that you really need to take control, no one else is going to come along and wave the magic wand.''

Westpac's new ad campaign comes as Suncorp steps up promotion of its Million Dollar Woman insurance company, established this year to appeal to women. Million Dollar Woman has been releasing research reports to the media recently.


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