|By Marketwired .||
|March 19, 2014 03:00 AM EDT||
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 03/19/14 -- A challenge to be more relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers has been presented to the financial services industry after issues of trust and confidence were highlighted in a new survey.
Findings from the national research, commissioned by Nationwide Building Society, were today announced at Nationwide's London offices in Threadneedle Street, Bank, hosted by Nationwide's Executive Director of Retail, Chris Rhodes, and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen - straight ally and Chairman of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which is working to eradicate bullying. Those attending included LGBT networks from the finance industry, marketing professionals and the gay rights charity, Stonewall.
Stonewall estimates that between 5-7% of the UK population is LGBT, equating to around 4.5 million people(i) and representing significant business opportunities to those companies making the effort to meet their needs.
The survey, which forms part of Nationwide's ongoing commitment to promoting diversity among both its 17,000-strong workforce and 15 million customers, is a precursor to a wider industry debate on how to better serve the needs of LGBT customers. Although the industry has made strong progress in breaking down barriers, the results highlighted specific areas for focus, including the need to highlight ethical practices, being supportive of the LGBT movement, implementing effective LGBT employment policies and including LGBT people within advertising and media.
Results from the poll reveal seven in ten people (70%) would switch to a bank or building society that took their issues seriously. More than two thirds (68%) of the LGBT customers surveyed feel that their financial services provider is not taking serious steps to understand them.
Issues around confidence were high on the agenda, with less than half (44%) of people saying they would confidently disclose their sexuality as part of a financial transaction with their provider or advisor, regardless of whether it was face-to-face, online or on the telephone. A further 24% of those polled said they were likely to withhold their sexual orientation because it was felt that a decision might go against them, or that a premium or product would be more expensive.
Other findings showed:
-- 70% would switch providers if they believed a financial services provider took LGBT issues seriously -- 13% have experienced an uncomfortable situation with a financial services provider because of their sexuality. This rises to 17% for women, compared to 11% for men. -- Nearly two thirds (65%) would switch providers to one that trains customer service staff on issues and concerns LGBT people may have regarding banking finance -- Women are less likely than men to be happy revealing they are in a same- sex relationship during a face-to-face meeting with a mortgage advisor, with one in five (20%) not being comfortable, compared to 12% of men. -- Around four in ten (39%) of LGBT people have not made adequate pension or financial plans for themselves and their partner. The gender divide was notable, with a third of men (33%) and nearly half of women (47%) having not made plans.
The research highlighted the areas where financial services providers could be doing more in order to capitalise on the LGBT market, with a number of factors cited as having the potential to persuade a customer to leave their current provider. These included:
-- 80% consider ethical banking practices an important attraction point. -- 70% would be influenced through effective LGBT employment policies and support. -- 71% said they would be influenced through more LGBT people featuring in mainstream media in relation to a particular company. -- 71% believe products relevant to LGBT customers could be a deciding factor. -- 68% would be drawn to companies focussing on corporate citizenship and supportive of LGBT groups, events or charities. -- 63% would be influenced through LGBT advertising within LGBT media.
Chris Rhodes, Nationwide's Executive Director for Retail and Executive Sponsor for LGBT, said: "The results of this study make for interesting reading. While some progress has been made in the financial services industry in recent years, when it comes to marketing to and serving LGBT customers, there is still more financial providers can do to ensure these customers feel supported and included. I don't feel this is something that has been given the consideration it deserves.
At Nationwide, we recognise the importance of a diverse workforce, one which reflects our customer base. It makes sound commercial sense and helps Nationwide deliver high standards of service. We are committed to furthering our LGBT agenda within Nationwide and have been recognised by Stonewall as one of the UK's top employers, in addition to our LGBT network having been rated as a Star Performer by the charity. However, there is still more we can do to raise awareness of this important issue and this survey is hoped to open a dialogue with the industry to ensure we all do our best to cater for all customers, irrespective of background."
Ben Cohen said: "This research is an important step to understanding customers better and shows that as much as everyone is different, we all deserve the right to be treated with respect. This is a positive movement and will hopefully lead the way for institutions to encourage equality whilst also being commercially beneficial. It is a win-win proposition and equality is something I'm proud to support."
Simon Feeke, Stonewall Head of Workplace said: "Every business knows that their success relies on them understanding and communicating effectively with customers. Lesbian, gay and bisexual consumers make decisions on the basis of a business's perceived inclusion of them. When businesses get this right, they secure consumer loyalty from millions of gay people and their friends and families. Millions more consumers will also be attracted, sensing that the relaxed inclusion of gay people in advertising or marketing strategies is a sign of a 21st-century product or service."
Notes to editors:
-- (i) Based on UK population of 63.7 million and calculated at 7% of population (4,459,000) -- Nationwide was ranked in the Top 100 list in the Stonewall Equality Index with a 'Star Performing' employee led network which has a board level executive sponsor. -- Diversity awareness forms part of our staff induction at Nationwide; this includes LGBT. -- LGBT anti-bullying material is to be included on Nationwide Education, in partnership with Stonewall. This will provide another distribution channel to ensure the issue of homophobic language and bullying in schools is addressed, in addition to engaging and discussing different modern family units. -- Nationwide has featured same sex couples on marketing material. -- Nationwide is creating a mentoring programme for local schools for LGBT staff to support students and give presentations in schools to raise awareness.
-- The research sample was collected from the Out Now consumer panel, which is made up from respondents from Out Now's LGBT2020 research who have opted- in to take part in further LGBT related research projects. 619 people responded to the survey. -- The Out Now Business Class LGBT2020 research project is the largest study into the lives of LGBT people globally that has ever been undertaken. To date the study has sampled nearly 100,000 people globally - gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in twelve languages from 21 countries on six continents on many aspects of their lives. From LGBT travel and tourism patterns, lifestyle habits, consumer expenditure, incomes, spending, discrimination and entertainment preferences - the LGBT2020 project is a ground-breaking project from Out Now which is giving unparalleled insight into the lives of real LGBT people from all over the world.
Nationwide is the UK's largest building society as well as a top-three provider of household savings and mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million retail customers. Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet and post.
Find recent press releases and photos at the Nationwide Media Centre: www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
Mar. 26, 2017 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 6,151
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. The...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 7,289
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Mar. 26, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,851
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,050
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,741
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,179
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,918
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,916
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 26, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 771
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,157
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,758
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
Mar. 25, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,963
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
Mar. 25, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,675
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Mar. 25, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,586
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,825