Letter from Inez: September 2017

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Inez MurrayOver a third of Mexican women do not have access to any financial products. Aiming to close this gap, the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV) – Mexico’s banking and securities commission – has tracked the country’s progress on financial inclusion for years, but never before have they incorporated a gender lens. We are pleased to say that this is no longer the case: For the first time, in 2017 the CNBV published a chapter on women’s representation in the financial sector in their annual national report on financial inclusion.

This forward movement for women in Mexico is complemented by efforts from the private sector – including those of our latest member and first in the country, BanRegio. We are delighted to welcome BanRegio, an SME-focused bank with an innovative non-financial services package, including its NEXO platform that offers entrepreneurs access to a community, knowledge and mentoring. In this month’s newsletter, Rene Lankenau, Chief Technology Officer, shares how they are taking mentoring to the next level by providing mentors in all branches to offer advice and support to SMEs. Rene also discusses why supporting the Women’s Market is so aligned with the bank’s mission.

In the same vein, having found that women SME owners respond particularly well to coaching, TEB in Turkey launched its Star Cluster program in February. High-potential branch managers with an interest in supporting women entrepreneurs train to become business coaches over a nine-month period. They then coach their customers to prepare a 6-month business plan and follow up with regular coaching sessions throughout the implementation period. GBA Summit host, NatWest, has more than 400 accredited Women in Business experts throughout its distribution network, all of whom know how to support to women business owners effectively. This level of investment by GBA banks reflects the commitment of their Women’s Market teams – but it would not be possible if their organizations were not aligned behind it.

Building internal alignment to deliver this level of customer support requires the commitment of the leadership not just to being the bank of choice for women, but also to being the employer of choice for women. The link between external achievement and internal diversity and inclusion efforts will be explored with the launch of a new GBA Working Group next month. Open to members and supported by leading specialists in this area such as Mercer and McKinsey & Co., the group will leverage the strong know-how within the GBA membership and support banks at different stages in their D&I journey. We encourage members to email hilary.nichols@gbaforwomen to sign up.

For the many members interested in complementing their CVPs with insurance for the Women’s Market, we invite you to a webinar next week on this topic, presented jointly with GBA strategic partner the SME Finance Forum.

For our Latin American members, we have just launched the Spanish language version of GBA’s “Winning the Women’s Market: A How-To Guide for Financial Institutions Version 2.0,” available in the Vault section of our website. Non-members can preview the Guide here. And speaking of Spanish, we are happy to also confirm that the GBA Summit will have Spanish interpretation. Remember that only two weeks remain to register.

We will be covering all the aforementioned topics and many more in what promises to be a most interesting event. Perhaps the best yet!

Inez Murray Newsletter Signature