M&S spark sexism debate after claiming dads are in charge of family finances

14 June 2019, 12:05

M&S has sparked a fierce sexism debate
M&S has sparked a fierce sexism debate. Picture: Getty Images

The retailer has sparked a row after a study found dads look after family finances "more than mum".

Marks and Spencer has found itself at the centre of a sexism debate after sharing a controversial Tweet.

In a now-deleted message, the banking arm of the high-street giant asked their followers whether they agreed dads of the family dealt with finances.

"We found that many people ask Dad for advice more so than Mum - making him the Family Bank's 'Advice Administrator',” they wrote, before asking: "Do you agree? Let us know. #FamilyBank."

A video alongside the tweet said it was based on a study conducted earlier this year which suggested families relied on the males in their families for monetary advice.

M&S revealed most families rely on dad's for financial advice
M&S revealed most families rely on dad's for financial advice. Picture: Getty Images

This didn’t go down too well with social media users who questioned the Tweet.

One person replied: "What did the survey responses reveal about same-sex parented families?

"My future children will have no dad - please advise if they are financially doomed."

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Another argued: "I always ask my mum. She's an accountant. She's a maths whizz. She understands financial concerns. She advises on my tax and pension.”

While a third said: "I'm a financial advisor and ex Bank Manager, my son will always come to me."

And a fourth added: “My Nan was the absolute boss when it came to money. My dad, bless him, was hopeless!”

Defending their study, M&S Bank replied to one angry user, insisting there was “more to come” on the subject.

They wrote: "Our research uncovered a few different personalities within the FamilyBank, we have 4 more coming up this week. We know it's not just the 'dad-visor' who may have a role to play... Stay tuned!"

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An M&S Bank spokesperson has also told us more about the report - conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research - explaining that their study was created to “explore common misconceptions about the Bank of Mum and Dad.”

They said: “The Family Bank report, commissioned by M&S Bank and authored by CEBR, is part of a series which explores common misconceptions about the Bank of Mum and Dad, illustrating that modern family finances and intergenerational support is much more complex than stereotypes might suggest."

Elsewhere in the study, research also found 49% of millennials (23-38 year olds) provide financial support to their parents which increases to 54% for the younger Gen Z-ers (16-22 year olds).

On average, 23-38 year olds have given £1,161 to family members over the last 12 months to help with their day-to-day finances, compared to £756 from 39-54 year olds and £498 from 55-73 year olds.

Paul Stokes, head of products, M&S Bank, said: "Despite common perceptions about the bank of mum and dad, what we are seeing is that the ‘family bank’ works both ways, with people ‘depositing’ and ‘withdrawing’ from the family finances at different times in their lives.

"Our findings contrast with the common narrative that financial support in families only flows one way, or that it’s all about the money, with many keen to hear about the financial learnings of both older and younger family members."