Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Britons want banks to lend ethically, survey indicates

Nearly three-quarters of the British public (73%) think that banks should have ethical lending policies in place, a survey released by EIRIS this week suggests. Such policies would prevent banks from investing in, or lending to, companies involved in controversial areas such as arms manufacturing, or companies with poor records on the environment and human rights.

The national online survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of non-profit research organization EIRIS, explores current consumer attitudes to green and ethical finance. EIRIS’s own numbers suggest that that the amount of money invested ethically in the U.K. has risen 289% over the last decade.

“The survey identifies clear evidence of the need for change in all investment and lending practices” EIRIS said in a news release. “66% of the survey respondents think that banks and other financial institutions have not learnt the lessons needed to prevent a future financial crisis but instead have reverted to 'business as usual'.“

Survey respondents were presented with a list of ways that banks or financial institutions could offer more to their customers. Ranked most highly (77%) was the disclosure of information on how and where banks lend to or invest their money.

Mark Robertson, Head of Communications at EIRIS said "It's clear that there's a lot more that financial institutions can do to build trust and persuade us that they have switched away from short-term, unsustainable investing and lending practices. Our survey shows that there's a huge appetite for a more intelligent approach to finance which places a greater emphasis on society and environment as part of a path towards a more sustainable financial future".

No comments:

Post a Comment