“Do you think that banks can contribute to a fairer use of money in society? ” Opinions are divided. According to the fourth Observatory on the Sense of Money Crédit Coopératif & Viavoice, published in March (conducted online with 2,000 people aged 16 and over), 55% say yes. Far fewer of them – 13% – go so far as to say that the choice of their bank has a real societal impact, particularly environmental. But 7 out of 10 want banks to have this positive impact on society.
Who are these customers who expect their bank to do more than keep their money safe, provide them with means of payment and finance their projects? Who believes in the societal power of their euros and judges that banks can or must contribute to building a better world, or even believes that some are already doing so? The answer is not simple, notes Arnaud Zegierman, associate director of the Viavoice institute.
“Through observatories on the meaning of money (two in 2021, a third in 2022), there was no obvious link between the respondents’ responses and their age or professional category. We understood that this relationship with money depended more on their vision of the world. We must break preconceived ideas and not believe, for example, that the climate issue is reserved for young people”, notes this sociologist. Hence the idea, he continues, of drawing up a typology of French people describing their relationship to money according to their vision of the world.
Five “families” (groups of respondents displaying homogeneous answers to the different questions) emerged: the repairers (35%), the disillusioned (27%), the regulators (21%), the individualists and the laymen (6%).
Regulators and individualists have things in common. More than others, they perceive themselves as economically advantaged, have the feeling of understanding the economic system and link money and merit. The comparison ends there: their expectations of banks are jarring.
Disillusioned and profane
Judging it impossible to change what is wrong in society, individualists (typical portrait: a man with at least bac + 5, earning 4,000 euros per month or more) do not see money as a means of reducing social difficulties and ecological. Conversely, regulators (present in all socio-professional categories, with an over-representation of 25-34 year olds) stand out for their optimism about the societal power of money. It is the public who most closely establishes a link between choice of bank and societal impact.
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