Two-thirds of customers want their bank or financial institution to become more sustainable: report
LONDON: More than two-thirds of consumers want their bank or financial institution to become more sustainable, according to a new report from cloud banking platform Mambu.
The question “Is the grass greener on the sustainable side?” report surveyed 6,000 consumers about their attitudes towards green finance around the world and found that while most are in favor of greener financial options, customers have little faith in industry benchmarks in terms of sustainability.
Nearly half (48%) said access to green financial services has become more important to them over the past five years, and 67% believe their financial institution is guilty of greenwashing.
Two in five consumers (42%) think their bank or financial institution clearly communicates its sustainability commitments, but only 37% are aware of the organization’s climate promises or commitments.
Clients surveyed also expressed confusion over the exact definition of ‘green finance’, with more than a third (35%) admitting that they did not fully understand the difference between green finance (a product designed to protect the environment or managing the impacts of finance and investments on the environment) and ethical finance (which takes into account not only financial returns but also environmental, social and governance factors).
The report showed that the adoption of green finance practices was far from common, while indicating the need for greater education and communication within the industry.
Just over a quarter (26%) of consumers have knowingly used a sustainable banking product or service. But of those who did, the vast majority (84%) were more satisfied with these services than with traditional banking products.
The survey showed that consumers want banks to be more transparent and also want more power to hold them to account. Almost three-fifths (58%) would like to have more control over how and where their money is invested — to align with their personal values.
Meanwhile, more than half (55%) would like to have a say in the types of green financial products and services their financial institution develops.
“Our research shows that consumers are increasingly looking for ways to make greener financial decisions, but remain skeptical about how strongly banks are committing to the sustainability agenda,” said Anna Krotova, director sustainable development at Mambu.
“Consumers want to take a more active role in making green finance the future of finance, and there’s a huge opportunity for forward-thinking players to get ahead of this transition.”
Mambu helps financial institutions create sustainable financial products quickly and affordably.
Specifically, 42% of consumers would welcome incentives and loyalty programs that reward them for making greener financial decisions. The same percentage would like to know more about sustainability commitments when launching financial products and services.
Consumers are less interested in the granular details of sustainability goals. Just over a quarter (26%) would like to receive monthly sustainability reports from their banks, while only 20% would like to benchmark or rate themselves using a sustainability index or rating system. rating.
Customers cited sustainable credit and debit cards (45%), savings accounts and green bonds (42%), green loans (31%) and green mortgages (31%) among the offers that they would most like to see in terms of demand. green financial products.
The results also demonstrated the opportunity of green finance for banks, as almost half (49%) of consumers say they would consider switching to a provider with a greater commitment to sustainability, but less than a third ( 32%) are willing to pay a premium in order to do so.
The full report is available here.