The Future Savings Challenge: The Implications of Generation Y's Attitude to Finance and Sustainability

Green Alliance team

Research Organisation
Hermes ,Green Alliance

Report Date
Aug. 8, 2014

Document summary

HIGHLY COMMENDED FARSIGHT AWARD 2014/15 - Based on focus groups with 37 young professionals, and looking at the implications of the financial and environmental attitudes of people born between 1980 – 2000 (Generation Y) for the future of the investment industry, this report finds that Generation Y – the demographic most vital to the future of the savings sector - has very little interest in long term saving or challenging unsustainable investment practices. First, the scale of the disillusion felt by these young adults towards financial institutions is undermining their trust in investing. Generation Y is risk averse and financially cautious. Second, young adults are largely unaware that the value of their savings is being exposed to climate change-related risks. Third, there are signs that this cohort may actually feel less agency and empowerment to influence their environment than previous generations. The report nevertheless identified that if scepticism towards the financial sector can be overcome, sustainability could help to increase young adults’ engagement with investing and their trust in banks. The report makes four recommendations for the savings sector and policy makers as to how this could be achieved.

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