Are you a small business owner?
…on maternity leave?
Have you tried to get a loan from your bank in recent times?
The words ‘blood’ and ‘stone’ spring to mind but it seems that you’re more likely to strike gold if you carry a Y chromosome.
Scandalous, but that’s the nature of the banking industry. Dogged by scandal after scandal you’d be forgiven for thinking that short changing customers was part of their raison d’être.
A recent report by Noreena Hertz of the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy and Research) states that research reveals that it’s highly likely that banks are discriminating against women. The research covered the UK, USA and Europe.
The findings of the research point to;
- Evidence in the UK of banks discriminating against pregnant women and women on maternity leave seeking mortgages
- Evidence in Europe of banks discriminating against women entrepreneurs
- Evidence of gender stereotyping by bank loan officers internationally
I’m sure that Banks know that this is immoral and also illegal [under several international laws] but, unfortunately, this is clearly not a deterrant.
Sometimes external finance is the only way a business can grow, irrespective of how awesome and innovative their idea is and, in spite of the growing popularity of crowd funding, banks are still the leading source of external funds.
I returned home from my 9-5 to an email from Bev Hurley, CEO of Enterprising Women.org, inviting all members to take a survey that aims to test the themes identified in the IPPR report.
It’s a short survey (less than 2 minutes), but the results will be presented to Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, at his his Entrepreneurs’ Forum in October.
If the findings of the IPPR report are substantiated the Banks will have to face further investigation.
If you’ve tried to obtain a loan from a bank in the past three years take the survey. Results are anonymous and it’s a darn sight better than simply bemoaning the audacity of the banking industry!
Take the survey now and share it with other women that you know that may be affected by this.