Investors are keen on more sustainable finance options but almost half do not trust what is currently on offer from providers.
Research by PA Consulting, based on a poll of 3,500 consumers, found that 53 per cent believe there is an urgent need to introduce new sustainable finance products to the market and a similar amount are more likely to buy financial products from providers who demonstrate sustainable values.
However, 43 per cent said they don’t trust that sustainable finance products do anything meaningful currently.
As well as a lack of education (57 per cent), the research revealed that pricing (62 per cent), trust (57 per cent), availability (56 per cent) and accessibility (55 per cent) are key barriers to adoption of sustainable finance products.
Half of respondents said it is not fair to pay a premium for sustainable products or services.
“Pressures to meet the challenge of making sustainable finance mainstream by 2025 will come not just from consumer demand, there’ll be new non-financial reporting requirements and rules to prevent ‘green-washing’ coming into force imminently, while other banking regulations are likely to incorporate sustainability and ESG measures,” Jason Hill, financial services expert at PA Consulting, said.
“Our research highlights the pent-up demand for financial products and services that have a positive impact. Failing to meet expectations will compromise customer retention, the ability to meet increasing regulatory requirements, profit, and scope for financial services organisations.
“There are three core initiatives businesses must commit to pursuing to have the greatest impact: build credibility, educate, and innovate. It will take investment and ingenuity, but it is critical the industry pivots, now.”
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