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Letter from Inez: July 2017

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Inez MurrayIn 2016 the GBA Board made a decision to diversify our membership beyond banks. In doing so we acknowledge that banks alone do not serve all of women’s needs and recognize significant potential to increase our reach and impact through working with a broad range of financial services providers to develop Women’s Market programs. This month I am proud to welcome our first insurance company — AXA — to the GBA family.

AXA is the world’s largest insurance company, reaching 107 million clients in 64 countries. In this month’s newsletter we spoke to Amélie Oudéa-Castera, their Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, about the Women’s Market for insurance and AXA’s decision to target it.

The insurance market for women offers fascinating parallels with other product categories. Women in developed economies are generally underinsured, while many in emerging markets are simply uninsured. Women’s roles in the household and their behaviors when it comes to financial services, combined with their sheer purchasing power and obvious gender gaps, make them an ideal market for insurers. Women’s value to insurers is estimated to be worth nearly $1.8 trillion by 2030.

While the majority of GBA banks offer insurance, just 44 percent have tailored their insurance value proposition to the Women’s Market; however, 80 percent of those who have not yet done so want to learn how to. To support this and build the business case for insurance for the Women’s Market, GBA established a Working Group on insurance for the Women’s Market in February. Nine banks and AXA are participating along with GBA sponsors the Inter-American Development Bank and IFC. The innovations and insights will be shared during the 2017 Summit, at which we expect a strong turnout from insurance companies.

As always, the Summit is open to members as well as non-member financial services companies interested in learning more about the GBA and considering developing programs for the Women’s Market. Non-members can attend one GBA event before signing on for membership. Members received their link and code to register earlier this month, and we urge you to forward the information to leaders inside financial services companies who you think are prime targets to take on the Women’s Market.

This month also marked a huge win for the W20, which secured strong and robust language in the G20 final Communiqué on financial inclusion for women, including the announcement of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Financing Initiative (We-Fi), a $1 billion commitment to support women-owned/women-led SMEs worldwide. Importantly, the facility will emphasize financing start-ups as well as high-growth businesses, the importance of supporting women’s access to non-financial services and the creation of a supportive enabling environment for SME growth.

The G20 Leaders’ Declaration also establishes a Business Women’s Leaders’ Taskforce “which will, in close cooperation with the W20 and B20, bring together business women from G20 countries to examine ways to increase women’s participation in the economy and will make recommendations at next year’s summit on the implementation of G20 commitments regarding the economic empowerment of women.” GBA is honored to have been invited by the German team to participate on this taskforce.

GBA’s success is because of the work of our members, who deliver value each day to the women that they serve. An example is Access Bank’s W Initiative, which has just turned 3 and is marked by the fact that 40 percent of the bank’s loan portfolio now goes to women. We at the GBA secretariat are grateful to our ever larger and now more diverse membership.

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