I often talk about financial management as a single woman. Interestingly, I find that as an independent, self-employed business owner, I find that banks don’t think I have any real value.
I find that extremely frustrating.
In a recent dealing with the NAB, five months after being promising that all of these things would get sorted, even to the point where I was being given “yes everything is ready to go ahead as agreed” and then, I get an email. No real preliminaries just saying, “We’ve changed our mind about the way we want to do this”. Now they’re still going to proceed but as a women I will need a guarantor! I have not had a guarantor since I was 17 years old for my very first car.
There was not really an explanation they just seem to make a determination that said they thought I should do my consolidation in a different way than what we had agreed.
Now, please remember I have been dealing with these people trying to resolve this for five months so my immediate solution, find a new bank! I was tempted to walk away from the big four because quite frankly, I have never found them to be supportive of women.
I have said on multiple occasions that two of our four major banks ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank that both have a focus on women. However, the ANZ’s approach is more at the lower end, they make the assumption that all we do as women is nurture children, and that our financial needs, in general, are less complex. So, they focus on superannuation products and life insurance and number of other things, but they don’t really look to empower women.
Now the Commonwealth Bank, on the other hand, have a program called Women in Focus which is specifically about supporting business women. So I wanted to see if the Commonwealth Bank would put their money where their mouth is and actually look to provide financial support to a woman in business. I’ve been to a number of their lunches, talked to some senior management, and they are really nice people. I used to work for the Commonwealth Bank many years ago, but were they really going to come through?
I had a conversation with a number of people by telephone and was put in touch with what they call a ‘Business Personal Lender’, so this is somebody who specialises in assisting me with my personal lending needs, but they have a good knowledge of business and they take the time to understand my business. So, when I was contacted by Leah (my local Business Personal Lender) and I was able to have a conversation about what had happened with the NAB for the previous five months, she was able to assess my business and my personal situation and she came back to me and said “Actually Kerry, there is no reason that we can’t do all of this and more.”
Maybe, just maybe, there IS a bank who is really supportive of women in business, that will actually put their money where their mouth is.
I wish to absolutely maintain my financial independence, I haven’t got this far being reliant on a man and there is no reason that I should ever have to be reliant. It would be different if I choose to go commit myself with a man to do something that I wish to do and we wish to do that together, but that is a very different proposition to somebody telling me that I need a man to give me value in this world.
Yet – that is exactly what the NAB did, which is why they are history, written off, never again to be considered!
In fact, I really must give kudos to the young man from the NAB who was doing all of this work with me over five months, when I told him exactly what I thought of his approach in an email, he rang me to apologise. So, I then told him again, over the phone, exactly what my concerns were, what I thought the problem really was, and advised him to learn from the mistake (Thanks Matthew). That might be one lesson he needed to learn on his life path. Hopefully, he’ll remember next time how he should speak to a strong empowered woman who manages her own business, and has built an asset base without his help in the past and without the help of any man.
I hope that this highlights the benefits of maintaining your independence as a women and encourages you to take charge of your own finances. Inspiring you is what I am aiming to do here and I am really glad that you are still reading and I hope this inspires you into action.
I hope that was helpful, until next time Gorgeous….