Females in charge of family financing in China

Updated: 2011-11-17 07:32

By Yu Ran (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - Compared with their counterparts overseas, Chinese women seem to have a bigger say in how the family money is spent.

Sixty-three percent of female respondents on the Chinese mainland said they were in charge of household financing, while only 58 percent of male respondents said so, according to a latest global survey by HSBC.

However, in other parts of the world, 65 percent of male respondents said they made the decisions on family finance, while only 53 percent of women said so, the survey showed.

HSBC's global survey on family financial planning and retirement, involving 17,000 interviewees and covering 17 countries and regions, was released earlier this week. It included more than 1,000 respondents from the Chinese mainland.

"Judging by the result, on a global scale, men are still playing important roles in household financing, although women seem to be playing more important roles in making financial decisions on the Chinese mainland, due to their enhanced education and career advancement," said Lao Jianrong, chief executive officer of HSBC Life Insurance Co Ltd.

Wang Xiejiao from Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, a 56-year-old retired housewife, makes sure that the family savings increase by 1 percent every year.

"Apart from the properties we're living in and we've invested in, I use 95 percent of the family savings for regular investments including saving in the bank, long-term investment in enterprises, buying financial products and so on," said Wang, who has been making family finance-related decisions since she got married.

Wang added that her husband was the owner of a trading company and remained preoccupied with his business while she had to take care of their son's education as well as manage the family finances.

In terms of investment, nearly 70 percent of women worldwide prefer to adopt conservative strategies while less than half the number of women from the Chinese mainland go for investment methods with comparatively low risks.

"My wife has been in charge of planning family finances for years and she always invests in stocks, funds and financial products, without thinking too much of the risks involved," said Zheng Cai, a 50-year-old civil servant in Shanghai.

Lao, CEO of HSBC Life Insurance Co Ltd, explained that while families on the Chinese mainland were more eager to enhance their own monetary assets in keeping with the economic development in the country, it was also necessary to consider the risks investments entailed.