Wednesday 24th August 2016
This month I am very excited to share with you two exciting pieces of news from Chile. The Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras (SBIF) has just released the 15th edition of its annual report on female financial participation, tracking access and use of consumer, housing and business loans as well as savings behaviors for the entire banking sector. Shortly afterward, BancoEstado issued its second Women Bond this month, only two months after being the first Chilean entity to launch a Women Bond in the Japanese financial markets.
Género en el Sistema Financiero 2015 makes for fascinating reading for a number of reasons. As indicated by GBA member data and as highlighted in our case study, the report shows that although women in Chile take smaller loans than men, they pay them back at a higher rate than their male counterparts. Women also show strong savings behavior, with stronger participation in the total number of accounts, and have a higher proportion of savings accounts across most savings products — with the exception being retirement accounts. This year, the SBIF went even deeper into its database and was able to analyze average interest rates across three main loan types — consumer, business and housing finance — by gender. It found that women are paying substantially more interest than men for consumer and business loans. I have no doubt that the Chilean regulator will drill down to understand the drivers of this pricing differential and see what can be done to resolve them.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Chile is also in the news this month because GBA member BancoEstado has issued its second Women Bond in Japan. As Jessica Lopez, CEO, shares, this bond is an important milestone for her bank and for Chile, recognizing all the work they have done to support women internally and externally in the Chilean market, and a clear signal that gender is an emerging asset class in the capital markets.
The need for sex-disaggregated data to drive smarter policies is once again emphasized in our report of the month from Brookings Institute, in which GBA is given several shout-outs for our work in this area. I heartily recommend this report, as well, for those who want to understand the broader context for the intersection of data and policy in promoting full financial inclusion.
Of course it would not be summer if GBA were not working hard on making our Annual Summit, which takes place each autumn, into our best yet. Hosted by the IFC from October 18-20 in Washington, DC, we will have a star-studded lineup of experts both from within and beyond the Alliance sharing insights on key areas to support the Women’s Market, including how digital banking can enhance the value proposition to women, what works in non-financial services and how to measure that, building diverse organizations, managing change at the bank, adapting insurance for the Women’s Market, and policy platforms that support women business owners. We are grateful to the IFC for being such generous hosts, and encourage any bank considering the Women’s Market or trying to scale up their program to join us.
This month we are proud to welcome our newest member in China, Bank of Luoyang. In this issue we interview Ms. Yanping Fu, Vice President, and ask her about the bank’s strategy for the Women’s Market in Luoyang.
Yanping and I will be on a panel at the upcoming SME Finance Forum Annual Meeting in Beijing next month, where we will spread the news of the value of the Women’s Market to her compatriots. She and her team will also attend the GBA Annual Summit, where we hope to see many other members, prospective members and supporters.
Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer
Global Banking Alliance for Women