Socially- and environmentally- conscious buying is an established trend across the retail sector. This trend is now reaching banking.

Ethical consumer spending, in the UK retail sector rose almost four times from £11 billion in 1999 to £41bn in 2018, according to the Ethical Consumer Organisation. Furthermore, not only are consumers choosing new products and businesses with a better social and environmental impact, but they are avoiding companies with a poorer record. Almost half – 49% – of people under 24 have avoided a product or service due to its negative environmental impact. With consumers having more access than ever to information about businesses’ environmental and societal impact.

Deloitte set out to investigate the extent and manner in which these rising consumer expectations around social and ethical concerns affect banking choices. We commissioned two consumer sentiment surveys with Pollfish. The first, of 1000 individuals, who bank with incumbent and challenger banks in the UK, was conducted in December of 2019. The second, of 1250 individuals, who, again, bank with incumbent and challenger banks in the UK, was conducted in July of 2020.

We uncovered three aspects of better banking that have been illustrated below to show the contrast in consumers’ sentiments pre-pandemic and during the pandemic.

Well-being impact: How has COVID-19 affected customers’ wellbeing, and social and environmental concerns?

Awareness: What do consumers know about their bank’s social and environmental efforts? And what do they think?

Decision-making: How important are social and environmental factors when choosing a bank?

To view the full results, please click the PDF attachment below. 

If you have any questions around our research or would like to discuss what this means for your business, please reach out to one of the authors.