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According to a new report from corporate branding firm Living Group, financial services businesses are increasingly focusing on corporate social responsibility, but have yet to implement a working sustainable business strategy.
The report looked at the sustainability reporting of 49 individual FTSE 350 financial services firms and their performance in online communications, communications in print and via pdf. The findings point to the conclusion that businesses from the financial services sector have taken a serious blow on their reputation over the past few years and the sector needs to adopt a new approach to reporting, communications and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Figures show that banks have the highest rate of sustainability reporting in the sector (82%), compared to just over a third of asset managers. Overall, about half of the surveyed financial services firms fail to capitalise on a proper demonstration of their sustainability credentials. Nearly a quarter of respondents were found to provide nothing more than a CSR statement, or briefly mention bullet points without any supporting data, while some companies provided no sustainability or CSR communication at all, the report finds.
According to the report´s author, Nick Smith, communications director at Living Group, companies have to take on their responsibility to clients, shareholders and employees in making sure that they not only work in their best interest to succeed in business but also prove their integrity. Adopting a specific CSR strategy is a good way to start, he adds.