Letter from Inez: October 2014

Monday 13th October 2014

GBA Newsletter

We had a record turnout for the 2014 GBA Summit last month, with more than 200 bankers, policymakers and thought leaders from 34 countries. GBA members and guests exchanged information and ideas, and made exciting new connections across the world.

The summit opened with the GBA-commissioned report, How Banks Can Profit From The Multi Trillion Dollar Female Economy, supported by McKinsey & Company, which delves into the ways banks can connect with women and capture the Women’s Market. The results of the study were unpacked during the summit’s many panels and presentations, including the “Data Gaps” panel, moderated by Nancy Lee of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund. Nancy explored one of the misconceptions outlined in the report — the misunderstanding of the available data on the female economy — and subsequently wrote a great blog on this subject. While the majority of banks globally do not disaggregate their customer data by sex (and therefore never know how valuable women are to their bottom line) the majority of GBA banks actually do.

To showcase GBA’s exceptional data and build the business case globally for banks to target the Women’s Market, we announced a historic Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action during the 2014 CGI Global Meeting in New York City, two days after the Summit. The commitment, made in partnership with 15 member banks and our two DFI partners — IFC and IADB — will expand the existing dataset on the Women’s Market by creating the first-ever set of sex-disaggregated data on bank customers. This unprecedented undertaking represents an important milestone in our growth.

While our data proves the business case for the Women’s Market, we also need to support banks in how to execute it. We are proud to publish a new series of case studies for this purpose. Our inaugural Case Study is on Westpac, a bank that demonstrates the extraordinary business advantages of doing well by your female customers. The Dow Jones agrees, ranking Westpac Group as the global bank industry leader in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Review, with their strongest score ever of 93%, due in large part to the bank’s Women’s Markets efforts.

At the helm of those efforts is Westpac Women’s Markets Director Larke Riemer, who was voted in as the new Governing Board Chair of the GBA at the Summit. We thank outgoing Chair Chris Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, for his tremendous contribution to establishing GBA as a global force these past 24 months, and welcome Larke to steer us through this new chapter of the GBA’s history.

A special thanks goes out to the host team at the Inter-American Development Bank and the Multilateral Investment Fund for their incredible hospitality and tireless efforts to make sure the 2014 Summit went off without a hitch. Special thanks also to Summit sponsors – Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, Royal Bank of Scotland and McGraw Hill Financial.

And finally, a heartfelt thank you to all our members, both for helping to make the 2014 Summit so productive and memorable, and for their unwavering commitment to sharing their know-how and best practices to further the cause of full financial inclusion for women. In addition to our 4 new members in 2014, we welcomed 11 prospect banks to the Summit, 3 of which have signed up since! We invite all members to participate in our 2015 GBA Mentoring Program, the application for which is due this week.


Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer

Global Banking Alliance for Women