Author: Simon Cadbury
Becoming an adult is a seminal moment in any culture, the moment when we start to live independently and responsibly. And although different cultures have a multitude of benchmarks – from 13 to 21 – the traditional age is now set as 18.
Not so for millennials: recent research has found that most millennials only see themselves as an adult once they have turned 30 years old, with some even agreeing that 40 is a more reasonable estimate!
It’s no surprise, as challenging economic conditions mean that many of this generation are delaying leaving their parents’ home and struggling to find permanent jobs. This can also stretch to financial planning – with some millennials lacking a fundamental knowledge of how to get the most out of the retail banking sector.#Building #Societies remain a mystery to millennials. #responsibility Click To Tweet
Building Societies, for example, remain a mystery to millennials. Our research, which questioned 2,000 millennials on their attitudes towards the building society sector, discovered that few knew the benefits of opening a building society account, with almost half (48 per cent) unable to name a single advantage.
In fact, a third (33 per cent) also agreed that they could see no reason to use a building society.
Part of this uncertainty lies with millennials’ confusion around the difference between a building society and a bank. Around three-quarters (73 per cent) admitted that they did not know the difference between the two, while just under half (45 per cent) were unsure of when or in what circumstance they’d use a building society instead of a high street bank.
However, that is not to say that millennials do no not want to know more. Indeed, upon learning of the community focus and member-ownership of building societies, more than a quarter (27 per cent) noted the fact that they work in the interest of their members, as opposed to finances or shareholders, as a real advantage.
Crucially, the responsibility to build this understanding lies with building societies. It is up to the sector to offer an improved, more engaging presence. Something especially interesting from our research was that over a fifth (22 per cent) of millennials thought building societies lacked online banking tools, when in reality 90 per cent of the UK’s top twenty building societies offer some form of online functionality.
Grabbing the Millennial Opportunity
Clearly more must be done to appeal to millennials, an increasingly important demographic. The younger generation may not be quite as financially independent as others, but they are by far the most acquainted with technology and mobile-use. Expanding its traditional model is paramount if building societies want to succeed and remain as relevant as they did for previous generations.