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Survey suggests banks are missing the target in their green communication

The article was first published in FinansWatch

In an interview with PA Consulting’s Knut Erlend Vik, he outlines how Norwegian financial institutions are missing the target in their green communication, and failing to convey the UN message about the huge investment gap required for the transition to green policies.

Knut Erlend Vik believes that Norwegian financial institutions have failed in their communication around green finance, ESG and sustainability.

“More and more Norwegians say that they want to make more sustainable choices, but most believe that more recycling or fewer flights are the most significant individual contributions to reducing their CO2 footprint. Green investments, which are probably the most important measure, come well down the list of what people say they think are important green measures.”

This is reflected in the responses to a recent PA survey of 3,500 consumers in Europe, 500 in Norway, underlining that Norwegian banks and financial institutions must be clearer about their role in the green transition in their contact with private customers.

“Customers are confused. Banks have not told them what they are doing and what the real effect of green financial choices are on the climate. A few have joined the debate and we have the benefit of seeing several banks report well and honestly on their role and where they stand in their own transition."

Customers want to make more sustainable choices, but they do not see the link to their own loans, savings and pensions. Within the EU's taxonomy, banks have been given their own "language" to classify sustainable economic activity in business and industry. How can the banks translate this into everyday language used by "the man in the street”?,” Vik asks.

He adds that a large majority of people expect sustainability to be the norm for banks by 2030 and “Customers do not just want their own «green» products, but want all services to be sustainable. The question then is when will we get the first Norwegian fully-green bank?”

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