Outdated IT systems at UK banks are failing to keep up with changing consumer needs, according to a study from banking advisor Accenture.
The study found that female consumers are particularly short-changed by banks' "archaic" technology infrastructure, which hasn't kept pace with increased demand for tailored and flexible financial products.
"UK banks could create sizeable sales opportunities with women," said senior Accenture executive Natasha Miller, who wrote the report. "The past 20 years have led to greater financial independence for women, but banks have not kept pace."
Banks often fail to hold relevant information on customers, or are unable to access this data to create the kind of flexible, targeted products and services that women want, said Miller.
"They do not have the data in enough detail to identify profitable niches and market to them effectively," she said.
Miller cites outdated IT systems that are typically based on a 1960s-era mainframe. "They've had all sorts of extra systems added to them over the years, but there's only so much you get from 40-year-old technology," she said. "This is a major stumbling block."
She advised banks to court their female customers with a more technologically savvy approach. "Rather than simply slapping on 'pink branding,' the key is delivering crafted products supported by clear, targeted advice utilising the internet and well-informed advisers."
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