NATWEST has been slammed as “sexist” for “mansplaining” finances to women.
The bank has partnered with Stylist magazine to launch an online community called A Woman’s Worth Collective that will “talk straight about money, minus the jargon.”
Natwest NatWest has launched a new online community with Stylist magazine
The campaign was launched yesterday featuring a bunch of flowers on the front cover of Stylist magazine with a message that said: “I’m sorry we seem to have been using sexist imagery and language for the last few decades.
“But we are changing now! Honestly!”
A letter written by a “Mr Banker” was also included and handed out in London by people wearing bowler hats yesterday that said: “We plan to lead the change in the way banks talk to women.”
But its branding and language has been labelled as sexist, while it has also emerged that the Woman’s Worth Collective website is run by market research company QuMind, raising questions over how data is used.
The move has been branded patronising on social media, with critics claiming it implies women need banking terms simplified.
The bank has pledged to improve how it communicates with female customers
Emily Saunderson, 32, a business analyst, told The Sun: “I do the money management in our family and what I’ve found is that most men who work in banks are still patronising, but, most of the people who work in our local Santander branch are actually women – just not at management level.
“They are very well versed and happy to explain clearly about all products and services as they are trained to do so.
“The issue is systemic but notes like this perpetuate that.”
Brand consultant Natali Drake, said it is positive to address the masculine approach to banking, but described NatWest’s tactic as “the least effective way they could have connected with women.”
Women have slammed the letter from “Mr Banker” for being sexist
She says: “If a corporation wishes to speak to women, they need to show not tell us how they are changing.
“We don’t want a scrappy, pompous apology on a piece of paper. We want to see change.
“Sponsor an initiative with female bankers visiting schools and educating children on banking and the way it’s progressing.
“Hire more women at directorship level, actually, hire more women in your marketing team, and make the change from the inside.
“Have better representation of people of colour, women and diversity in general in your advertising and branding.
“We don’t need special marketing or for you to use special words for the ladies you’ve just realised may be smart too – just involve us more.”
So the visuals of the apology is a bunch of ‘I’m sorry’ flowers with this months allowance in them? 🤷♂️ break the stereotype by reinforcing it? But without realising?A whole new level of mansplaining inception #natwest #stylist pic.twitter.com/hyXspf1Ulm— Nick Cullen (@RealNickCullen) May 22, 2019
I feel pretty embarrassed for @StylistMagazine for endorsing this to be honest. Would love to see the research they’re quoting exists. @NatWest_Help What about instead a campaign with schools for a generation of young people with limited knowledge? We don’t need it cheers.— Marianne (@mariannet91) May 22, 2019
The controversial NatWest letter apologises for being patronising and previously only speaking to husbands, fathers and brothers and for creating a culture that has made women feel “uncomfortable and welcome when it comes to talking about money.”
It said: “Our behaviour has led to a huge financial confidence gap. From pensions to investments, women don’t feel represented by the financial industry.
“That is our fault, not yours. And it is time for change.
“Enough is enough. Only powerful, meaningful change will make a difference. I am an outmoded stereotype.
“You need to be spoken to respectfully, in a non-patronising way. You need to hear from people who actually get you.”
Readers are then pointed to the A Woman’s Worth Collective website where they can find out more, but must agree to have their responses to surveys recorded confidentially by market research software company QuMind.
A NatWest spokesperson said the data will only be shared with the bank, adding: “We wanted to start a conversation about how banks talk to their female customers about money.
“While many women feel confident when it comes to finances and investing, research has shown that a huge number of women don’t feel the same way.”
“The Woman’s Worth Collective, established as part of the partnership, is for people who want to influence how NatWest can better serve women.
A statement from the Stylist Group said: “We are working with NatWest to highlight an important issue and we have deliberately used stereotypes to make a point which is the start of a seven-month campaign.
RAIL OPPORTUNITIES How to earn up to £65,500 a year plus perks by being a train driver Sponsoredtaxing times There’s help available for small businesses navigating Making Tax Digital BOGGED DOWN Couple save £60k on ‘run-down’ three-bed house but it took SIX months to fix-up WINE NOT Aldi is looking for 30 wine tasters to try bottles for free M&S CRISIS M&S to close 35 branches more as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 stores ACT NOW Martin Lewis’ urgent benefits warning as thousands face losing £7k a year
“Whenever we discuss issues of gender equality, there are a small number of people who react as we have seen.
“However, we have been deliberately provocative to raise awareness of the fact there is gender disparity within the financial sector.
“As context, we have circulated 400,000 magazines and published this content to two million digitally yet Stylist has received around 50 negative responses.
“The focus for the campaign now is to listen to all feedback and make meaningful change within the finance industry.”
Earlier this month, The Sun revealed that NatWest is the worst bank for helping fraud customers after massive rise in complaints.
It came after a retired NHS worker lost £40k life savings to scammers who pretended to be from NatWest.
Meanwhile, the bank is trialling a new card that uses your fingerprint and scraps the £30 limit.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at email@example.com