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Your Two Cents: Could Female-Only Banks Be Beneficial?

Female-only banks have existed in Saudi Arabia for decades, and Time describes the women's branches of the Dubai Islamic Bank as feeling "more like spas than financial institutions." The staff and clientele at these branches are all (you guessed it) female, and the case for separation has to do with both the wealth held by Saudi women and the conservative culture.

The Time article scatters some very interesting facts about women in this part of the world: A 2007 Barclays Wealth survey found that Saudi women are the most financially savvy in the world in terms of investing, retirement, and estate planning; The Middle East Economic Digest estimates that Gulf women control around $246 billion, projected to hit $385 billion by 2011; Women own about a third of brokerage accounts and 40 percent of family-run firms in Saudi Arabia.

The existence of women-only branches in Saudi Arabia got me wondering: Could female-only banks be beneficial in other parts of the world? What do you think?


Join The Conversation
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
It would be interesting to read the article. Do the women somehow feel more empowered even though their need for an all female bank stems from dis empowerment (at least as far as I can see it)? The Saudis definitely have an interesting culture that I would like to read more about. They seem to be taking their social status and using it to their advantage somehow.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Why? I don't need to be coddled or pampered by my bank. I know what I'm doing financially and the gender of other customers and bank employees is completely irrelevant to me. Seems like it would be more beneficial to educate women who don't feel financially savvy than segregate them off and hold their hands. :shrug:
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's really amazing to see that saudi women are really leaders in having financial savvy. there are SO many times that i wished i knew more and i should take it upon myself to learn more. i don't know if i would ever really go to a women run-specific-only bank. i think that with everything that we're working on to be equal in the US - it would be seen as a set back by some organization.
TsuKata TsuKata 8 years
Personally, I'd like it. Every now and then, I get a condescending jackass guy over at my branch. Even if I got a condescending jackass woman, it wouldn't be as bad. If it were a woman, I'd know they were condescending because they thought I was dumb. If it's a guy, I don't know if it's a perception of me or if it's sexism. Besides, I like the idea of a spa bank. :) Let's talk the jacuzzi!
girlwparasol girlwparasol 8 years
it'd probably be nice, because i remember working as a bank teller and dealing with sweaty, factory-employed men coming in to cash their checks leering at me and breathing heavily. but it also wouldn't fly in the USA because everyone's so hard-wired to reject any segregation of any kind, beneficial or not. would i care if there were a men's-only bank? no. not if there were women's-only banks i could utilise. women in the USA need to be better educated about handling their OWN financial security (not letting their husband, boyfriend, etc. handle it for them, as most seem to allow). studies tend to show that women feel more comfortable learning from other women, so if a bank provided female financial planners to help women manage their wealth... would that be such a bad thing? no, not at all. i just don't see it ever happening.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
They only have these kinds of banks in Saudi Arabia because it's supposed to be "harlot-y" over there for a woman to show her face to men other than those of her family. And you'd probably have to show your face when you do your banking. So.
CrazySweet CrazySweet 8 years
I think it's awful. Us women would definitely complain if there was a mens-only bank. It's a silly idea.
stephley stephley 8 years
There were at least two 'women's' banks in the 1990's in the DC area. Neither stood out as anything special neither lasted very long.
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 8 years
I work in a bank, and I'm failing to see the benefit here. I definitely think it can be considered almost sexist. Women would be the first to complain about a "men-only" bank. I just think this is a step in the wrong direction!
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