MONEYME: Borrowers value sustainability despite cost-of-living crisis

MONEYME: Borrowers value sustainability despite cost-of-living crisis

B Corp certified digital lender and non-bank challenger MONEYME (ASX: MME) has found in a recent customer survey that 82 percent of its customers are concerned about sustainability, with 72 percent believing that a consumer credit provider’s sustainability efforts are relevant or of interest to them.

The survey found that even in the midst of rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis, sustainability is a significant factor in Australian consumers’ decision-making process when selecting a financial institution.

This comes amidst news that the ASIC Act was amended to allow the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) the power to develop sustainability standards for financial reporting.

The AASB has already proposed three new reporting standards that would require Australian businesses to disclose climate-related financial information. Although disclosure rates are increasing, new research by the government revealed that less than half of ASX-listed companies reported climate-related information in 2022.

In November this year, Treasury published the Government’s highly anticipated Sustainable Finance Strategy consultation paper. The strategy, aimed to support Australia’s transition to net zero by promoting investment into sustainable activities, proposes a range of measures, including transparent and standardised sustainability-related financial disclosures, labelling for sustainable investment products, and increased support for regulators.

The customer survey, commissioned by MONEYME and conducted by PIE, included 322 respondents and uncovered insights regarding the influence of sustainability efforts on the choice of a consumer credit provider.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 81% concerned about sustainability: An overwhelming 81% of MONEYME customers expressed at least some concern about the sustainability performance of consumer credit providers. Among them, one-third (33%) admitted to being “very” or “extremely” concerned about the sustainability performance of their lenders.
  • 74% see relevance in lenders sustainability efforts: A substantial 74% of MONEYME customers acknowledged the relevance of a consumer credit provider’s sustainability efforts or expressed interest in the matter.
  • 17% consider sustainability commitments: For 17% of respondents, a company’s sustainability commitments and efforts were a determining factor in choosing a consumer credit provider.
  • 27% would avoid poor sustainability: 27% of respondents stated that they would actively avoid choosing a consumer credit provider with poor sustainability performance.
  • 64% influenced by social inclusion: A noteworthy 64% of customers reported that they are influenced by a consumer credit provider’s efforts in social inclusion initiatives.
  • 55% influenced by community engagement: More than half, 55%, indicated that a lender’s community giving and engagement efforts would influence their choice.
  • 53% influenced by environmental performance: Over half, 53%, revealed that a lender’s environmental efforts and performance play a role in their choice of provider.
  • MONEYME top performer in sustainability: 70% of survey respondents, including an additional 35 external stakeholders who are not MONEYME customers, ranked MONEYME as a top performer in sustainability among its peers.

MONEYME’s commitment to sustainability was highlighted by its recent achievement of B Corporation Certification, a recognition earned through a rigorous evaluation and verification process that yielded a B Impact Assessment (BIA) score of 91.2.

Clayton Howes (pictured), CEO & Managing Director of MONEYME, said, “MONEYME is committed to adopting and putting into practice high sustainability standards, as our recent B Corp Certification demonstrates.

“It’s great to see that sustainability standards for financial reporting will be set in stone, making it harder for companies to engage in greenwashing and make unsubstantiated claims. It will help set a clear benchmark against which stakeholders can see for themselves the sustainability efforts businesses are taking, sans marketing and spin.

“This is not just beneficial for investors looking to support a more sustainable future, but also promotes greater transparency to consumers. As our survey demonstrates, our customers value companies that take sustainability seriously.

“Working towards having a positive environmental and social impact is not a nice-to-have, or second thought, for our business. It’s a firm commitment – one that our customers seem closely aligned with.

“Our hope is that the new standards will make vague and misleading claims a thing of the past. We’ve already led by example, and hope to inspire others in our industry to join the movement and prioritise sustainability and positive impact.”