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?