Sustainable Finance in Time of Crisis

According to the latest BVA Doxa’s research results, 77% of the money savers knows about sustainable investments ,and  18% have already chosen them. These are only some data emerged from the research conducted by BVA Doxa for the “Sustainably Finance” Forum,  , presented at the opening of the event “Settimana SRI”. Among the key results: almost half of the interviewed have changed or have been changing their financial habits significantly after the pandemic. In addition, 77% of the money savers know about sustainable investments (+ 20 percentage points compared to 2019); since the pandemic broke out, 35% of SRI’s product subscribers increased the sustainable investment shares and 57% thinks they’re going to  increase them in the future. 

The 10th edition of “Settimana SRI”, the main sustainable finance event in Italy, started with a deep dive into money savers’  new perspectives, considering the changes brought by the pandemic emergency and the consequences of the economic recovery.
During the opening conference, during which the Minister of the Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility Enrico Giovannini took part, BVA Doxa’s research results  for the “Sustainable Finance”  forum were presented. The research was conducted among investors and money savers 25 years old or older, who invested at least €1.000 in the last year: half of them are changing their financial habits, 77% knows about sustainable and responsible investments (SRI), . 18% of the interviewed already have subscribed to SRI’s products; 35% of SRI’s products subscribers increased sustainable investments’ shares and 57% thinks they’re going to  increase them  in the future.

INVESTMENTS HABITS DURING THE PANDEMIC – During  2020-2021, a new scenario emerged: if, on one side, there are more people who live in absolute poverty (9,4% according to ISTAT, compared to a 7,7% in 2019), on the other, a significant part of Italians increased the share of their investments and their savings compared to the usual (27% of the interviewed). Almost half of the money savers changed or are significantly changing their financial habits after the pandemic emergency and the consequential economic crisis. The most important changes are about investments’ purposes, with people oriented at saving higher sums of money for their families’ future (40%), about the growing attention on market’s intelligence and the economic situation (28%) and the definition of the risk profile and the investments’ financial outlook (23%). 

However, people tend to be increasingly more cautious, as anticipated by previous research as well: 66% of the money savers interviewed prefer low-risk investments (they were 55% in 2018). A need for consciousness and control on their own investments grows, as well as the necessity to rely upon expert consultants (done by 7 on 10 of the interviewed; almost 9 on 10 if we consider only the SRI’s products subscriber). Furthermore, 1 money saver out of  2 thinks that the pandemic made some industry sectors more financially appealing, like the pharmaceutical (quoted by 65% of the sample), sanitarian (63%), digital and technological (56%) and, although by smaller shares, energetic (35%) and electric mobility (28%).

Moreover, a growth in digitalization has been observed after the pandemic: 43% of  money savers increased the use of digital channels to manage their own investments and products, but digital has not replaced the traditional channels, which  the main point of reference, especially for the subscription of new investment and saving’s products. 

SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS – In 2021, money savers who know or have heard about sustainable investments grow  by  20 percentage points compared to  2019 (77% of the interviewed). Those who invested in SRI’s products, or in companies with socially and environmentally sustainable policies, keep on growing too: in 2021 they are 18%, compared to 14% of the 2019. 

For 82% of the money savers, ESG’s issues are very important or important enough in their  investment’s choices. The environment remains the most relevant topic, even though the pandemic raised attention on the social sphere (while for the governance area, there aren’t any relevant changes).

Those who already invests in SRI’s products claim to have tested its validity in terms of performances and direct experiences, and that they want to  stick to  this path. Since the pandemic started, 35% of the subscribers increased the sums of their sustainable investments and 57% think to do it in the future. 

Money savers noticed that financial operators are more experienced when it comes to sustainability: 46% of the interviewed said they receive from their own bank, insurance company or financial consultant, more information about sustainable investments compared to the past. Moreover, 47% perceive a growing  attention and expertise on these topics in the finance industry. 

THE ROLE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN FINANCE AND ECONOMY – Overall, 44% of the interviewed think that integrating environment, social and governance’s sustainability into the  criteria that drive the strategic choices of the companies can contribute to the economic recovery. For 60% of the interviewed, COVID-19’ is changing citizens, enterprises and institutions’ attitudes toward sustainability: for 48% the attention will grow, while 12% think it will decrease.

Data confirm money savers’ attention on sustainability topics. The importance ofsustainable finance keeps on growing  – said Simone Pizzoglio, Partner, Head of BU Finance & Utilities BVA Doxa – We have to sustain this interest by helping improve the basic knowledge and, more generally,  thefinancial education. The attention on sustainability is and will be a fundamental driver to banks and companies’ reputation”.



Would you like to receive our newsletter? Register here:

Related posts