The world of financial services is “aggressively masculine” and puts women off buying mortgages, pensions and investments, according to a report.
Research firm Kantar spoke to 30,000 women and concluded that financial advice is largely “a man’s world”.
The report claimed some women feel “diminished” when talking to a financial adviser.
In response, the boss of the Personal Finance Society said his organisation was “committed” to gender parity.
“The sector recognises that more needs to be done to inspire public trust and bring down some of the barriers and negative perceptions,” Keith Richards, chief executive of trade body the Personal Finance Society, said.
But Amy Cashman, the report’s lead author, said women were often being ignored when talking to financial experts.
She said in one case, a male mortgage broker spoke only to the husband, and ignored the woman, so the wife did not let the sale go through.
“If anything, women are seen as more competent than men in managing everyday finances,” Ms Cashman said.
“But where you see the difference is when you get into higher value products – things like savings vehicles, investments, pensions.”
Mortgage broker Rebecca Robertson, who has worked in the industry for almost two decades, agrees that a “car salesman-type environment” is off-putting for women.
“The perception is that the man in the pin-striped suit is going to sell them a load of stuff,” she said. “A lot of women just avoid them.”
Kantar said women they interviewed thought financial experts, such as advisers and mortgage brokers, were “arrogant and untrustworthy” and “living in a different world”.
As a result, women were more likely to keep their money in the bank – potentially losing financial services organisations a £130bn opportunity “by not winning over women”.