It is clear that consumers are thinking about the impact that their spending decisions have and are considering whether those decisions match up with their values. I think recent initiatives like #GrabYourWallet and others show how people are really waking up to the power they have as consumers to change the world for the better.
Key Findings from the Amalgamated Bank Survey
- Consumers care about values: A large majority of U.S. adults (85%) say it’s important that a company shares their values when they’re choosing whether to do business with them.
- And it impacts spending: More than three quarters of people (77%) have made a purchase decision based on values in the past year.
- Values over return: Nearly six in ten people (59%) would be willing to accept a lower rate of return in exchange for knowing that their money would be invested in a socially responsible way.
New York, June 6, 2019: Social responsibility and values-based decision making is driving consumers in choosing what companies to do business with. It’s not just the companies’ values but their leaders’ shared values that matter.
According to a poll released today by Amalgamated Bank (conducted by SurveyMonkey), eighty-five percent of people think it is important that a company shares their values when they are evaluating whether to do business with them, and eighty-one percent said the same about a company’s leaders. Eighty-six percent of people said social responsibility is important to them when considering whether to do business with a company.
These attitudes seemingly impact behaviors, according to the survey. More than three-quarters of adults (77%) say they have made a purchase decision based on values during the past year.
Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank commented, “It is clear that consumers are thinking about the impact that their spending decisions have and are considering whether those decisions match up with their values. I think recent initiatives like #GrabYourWallet and others show how people are really waking up to the power they have as consumers to change the world for the better.”
When it comes to banking, these values continue to hold true. The poll found that many Americans don’t actually know what their bank does with their deposits (42% don’t know) but, despite this lack of knowledge, the vast majority of people think it is important that their bank act in a socially responsible way and care that their bank invests and lends money in a way that aligns with their values.
When asked, just half of respondents (54%) said they know what their bank actually does with their money. However, eighty-three percent of people said it is important to them that their bank not invest their money in causes they do not believe in, and eighty-one percent said it is important that their bank use its deposits and investments to support socially responsible causes. And, more than three-quarters (77%) said it is important that their bank behave in a socially responsible way.
This has become such a priority that more than half of people surveyed (59%) said they would be willing to accept a lower rate of return in exchange for knowing that their money would be invested in a socially responsible way. And, when considering reasons to switch banks, more people (17%) cited social responsibility than cited recommendations from friends or family (13%). Liberals were also more likely than conservatives or moderates to rank these factors as reasons for switching.
Mr. Mestrich commented: “Many consumers are not aware that the money they deposit with their bank does not just sit in their accounts, but is used by the bank to lend and invest, and sometimes in ways that consumers might not agree with – for example funding gun manufacturers or companies that pollute the planet. We think it is important that people know and trust where their money sleeps at night, because they might be unhappy with the way their bank is putting their deposits to work. Our customers never have to wonder if their money is working in line with their values because we make sure everything we do, from our lending practices to our investments, is focused on furthering social, economic, and environmental justice.”
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About Amalgamated Bank
For nearly a century, Amalgamated Bank has served as America’s socially responsible bank, supporting forward-thinking organizations, companies, and individuals across the country. We are an advocate for those working to make the world more just, compassionate and sustainable. Our extensive experience, financial knowledge and community of like-minded customers offer a unique set of financial tools to customers. Amalgamated is the country’s largest B Corp® bank and a proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. We don’t just have a mission. We are on a mission: to support those who support others, to invest in progressive and impactful causes and to advocate true financial opportunity for all.
SurveyMonkey’s Sampling and Weighting Methodology
This analysis is based on SurveyMonkey online polls conducted among 10,293 adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of adults ages 18 and older in the United States. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.