The financial services sector must respond to the changing views of Generation Z and commit to social responsibility to ensure the growth and sustainability of the industry, according to Astute Ability Finance Group founder and principal Mhairi MacLeod.
According to the finance veteran, the roughly 4.5 million Australians born between 1995 and 2009 are drawn to businesses that support causes that aim to improve the environment and gender diversity.
“Gen Z will want to know more about a lender’s environmental policies than whether they can offer the lowest interest rate on a home loan,” MacLeod said in a statement.
For her, Gen Z represents a new breed of employee and consumer, someone who cares deeply about the planet, sustainability and society. The generation will represent 75% of the workforce by 2030 – they’re connected and possess a greater desire to make their mark on the world than previous generations. And these values influence who they decide to work for and do business with.
“If we’re to survive in the financial services industry, particularly in the aftermath of the Hayne Royal Commission, we must commit to social responsibility,” MacLeod said.
“Through the process of embracing social responsibility, we’ll also strengthen our industry, bolster our profile, improve public perception and attract future employees, brokers and clients. It’s time to take action or be left behind.”
For the financial services industry to maintain a strong connection with Gen Z, MacLeod said it should adopt policies that align with lenders that have environmental policies and advocate for community banks that carry out corporate social responsibility efforts. She also said financial service businesses should go for socially and environmentally responsible suppliers that are involved with local community work.
By embracing the important link between corporate social responsibility and Gen Z, the financial services industry can continue to grow, attracting and retaining top talent. More so, the industry can continue to make a difference in people’s lives.
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