How to engage generational audiences in new financial services 

17th April 2023

Ethnic minorities in the UK hold a whopping £300 billion in purchasing power, and minority-owned small businesses contribute £25 billion annually to the country’s gross value. So why are there such significant gaps in equal support from the finance sector?  

Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in interest in secure banking, and according to  Google, financial-related queries like “financial planning” and “financial advisor” have risen by 60%-115% in the past two years. So, there is no better time for brands to capture new audiences and gain their trust in new financial services.  

However, whilst the demand for financial services has risen in the last couple of years, there is still a call for better equality across the financial sector. We must understand how best to cater to each minority group to ensure they receive equitable services. As we can see from the data shared above, there is a demand for financial services, and brands should act quickly to capitalise on the current rise in interest.  

Understanding ethnic audiences’ pain points 

To understand how best to reach ethnic audiences, we must also understand their pain points / barriers stopping them from accessing services. Once identified, your brand can put the steps in place to support minority groups and therefore see a greater return on investment and increase brand loyalty if true to your word. Fair4All Finance, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and StepChange released new research into how ethnicity influences access to financial products and services in the UK. The study explores practical short, medium and long-term solutions to current inequalities and found: 

  • 60% of Asian and 63% of Black households have no savings, compared to 33% of White households* 
  • Black African, Black Caribbean, and Bangladeshi groups are 4x, 3.5x and 2.5x more likely to be denied a loan, respectively, compared to White groups* 
  • Fraud victims from minority ethnic groups are more than twice as likely not to get their money returned compared to White fraud victims 

How do I engage ethnic minorities effectively?  

As with any audience, it is essential to understand their needs, behaviours and wants. But ethnic minorities should not be blanketed as complex differences make each community different. Even within those individual communities, there will be a disparity between first and third generations as they will have different tolerance levels and cultural ties. Understanding those cultural differences and intersectionality will allow you to engage with each generation appropriately.  

First generation 

The first generation comprises those born outside the ‘host country’ who eventually migrated to a new place. They tend to have strong cultural ties to their upbringing and follow this way of life even whilst living in the ‘host’ country. This usually continues throughout their lifetime, although they become more relaxed in certain aspects of cultural differences over time.  

Second generation  

The children of the first generation are typically a mix, split between the culture of their heritage and the country of birth. Over time their exposure to the culture and way of life has impacted their outlook, and therefore, they will have a higher acceptance of ‘mainstream’ practices. However, there must still be a level of adaptation in your messaging to ensure the approach is suitable for the audience. 

Third/ Fourth generation 

Typically, there is complete acceptance by the third and fourth generations, and they are left more disconnected from their cultural ties than their heritage. Through the generations, each one becomes slightly less connected than the first, and the need for such adaption lessens. However, it is crucial to remember that whilst the third and fourth generations are adapted to the mainstream media of the country they abide in, they still require representation.  

There is much to be done within the financial sector to improve the equity of services for ethnic minorities. But as demand grows, brands will need to put the steps in place to gain the trust of audiences who have been misrepresented for a long time. For support reaching these audiences, contact GottaBe!, and our friendly team can provide invaluable insights into the 14.6 million people living in the UK from an ethnic minority.  

Let's see how we can work together