Canadian Lifestage Financial Services Marketing - April 2012
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The Canadian consumer is currently facing considerable challenges. Unemployment is high, people are worried about being able to save enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement, and household debt is approaching levels that may indicate they are about to face their own credit crisis.
Millennials and Baby Boomers in particular are at a financial crossroads that is being heavily affected by the uncertainty in the economy. Millennials are struggling to get the jobs that are necessary to get them on their financial way, and Boomers are heading into retirement, many without the financial cushion they had planned so long to have. Gen X’ers, too, haven’t been immune as they are in midcareer, but unable to move up the ladder because Boomers aren’t leaving. In the meantime they are caught trying to juggle the myriad financial obligations of a growing family.
To meet the needs of each of the generations, financial institutions need to undergo a major shift in focus. While Canadian banks and other financial institutions aren’t experiencing the complete loss of trust with which the U.S. financial institutions have been challenged, the Occupy Wall Street movement hasn’t been lost on Canadians and there is some distrust of big banks and big business. Also, in some respects, the needs of Millennials are driving the industry, as they account for the largest population segment and represent the largest and most immediate future customer base. They are asking for more flexible products, more flexible services, and more accessibility. Financial institutions will have to meet all of these criteria if they expect to thrive and grow.
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