SBIF releases an English version of its “Gender in the Financial System” Report

The study shows the gaps women face in terms of access to financial products and credit conditions in the Chilean banking sector. Since 2015, the importance of this report has been highlighted by international organizations such as ECLAC and the OECD.

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Today, the Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions of Chile (SBIF), released an English version of its 2016 Report “Gender in the Financial System” in order to give the international community access to its gender-based data on the Chilean financial system. 

The report shows the gaps Chilean women face in comparison to men in terms of their access to banking products, as well as in the credit conditions they receive. Its aim is to highlight the importance of reducing gender gaps in the financial system, as well as gather information that can contribute to the design and implementation of public policy and commercial policies by financial institutions. 

It is worth noting that since 2015, this Report has been recognized by the Global Banking Alliance for Women, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as a unique contribution in the world in the tracking of gender data in the financial system. 

This morning, the Superintendent Eric Parrado gave Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, a printed copy of the English version of the Report. In the occasion, she expressed her appreciation for the job the SBIF's has done towards its contribution to close the gender gap in the financial system.

Findings

Although the international gender gap measurements show that the “economic dimension” is one where Chile most lags behind, the results of this Report show progress in closing the gaps associated with the use of financial services provided by banks. 

In fact, during the period of analysis (2002-2015) there were no significant gaps between men and women in terms of access to savings products, and there were sustained advances in the closing of gender gaps associated with the access to credit and cash management products.

  • While in 2002 for every 100 male bank debtors there were 56 female debtors, in 2015 the ratio increased to 92 female debtors. In fact, between 2014 and 2015, this ratio increased by 5 percentage points (from 87% to 92%), with consumer credit standing out; for the first time there was equal usage of this product by both genders.
  • Similarly, in 2002, for every 100 cash management accounts held by men, there were 62 accounts held by women. In 2015, this number reached 92 accounts.

However, one of the main findings of the 2016 Report is that there are differences in the credit conditions applied to men and women, as follows: 

  • With regards to consumer loans disbursed to women, average interest rates were higher and loan amounts were lower (women pay, on average, interest rates that are 15% higher than  rates charged to men and obtain loans that are 32% smaller.
  • Mortgage operations do not show significant differences in terms of interest rates and terms applied to men and women. However, the average amount of credit granted to women is significantly lower (on average 17% lower) than that granted to men.
  • Regarding commercial loans granted to women, on average loans were o smaller, rates were higher and longer terms were observed. 
  • Meanwhile, in relation to the portfolio of small business loans to individuals, there are significant gender gaps. In fact, in the microcredit segment, there were 13% fewer female debtors than male debtors and loan amounts were on average 18 percentage points lower for women. 

Other findings are the following.

Financial integrity:

  • Women systematically exhibit lower levels of protested checks and debt arrears than men. 

Debt:

  • Women have a higher component of housing debt in their overall bank debt compared to men (61% of women’s debt corresponds to housing debt, while for men this proportion is 57%). On the other hand, men have a higher component of commercial debt than women.
  • Globally, women exhibit a lower level of debt and financial burden relative to income when compared with men. However, when considering the types of loans, it was noted that women with housing debt have higher levels of debt and financial obligations than men in that portfolio.

 

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