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Few British Columbians know what their financial institution does with their money

Dec 8, 2017, Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – The majority of British Columbians make socially conscious choices in their lives, but when it comes to their financial institution, most never research the type of businesses or organizations it funds, according to a new Vancity survey conducted by Insights West.

The survey of more than 800 British Columbians looked at a broad range of consumer habits. It found all or some of the time 98 per cent of respondents recycle; 89 per cent read the ingredient list of foods to make healthy choices; 66 per cent compost at home; and 52 per cent commute in an environmentally responsible way.

About 32 per cent of British Columbians say they research the social, environmental or labour practices of a company before making a purchase (25 per cent some of the time; seven per cent all the time). However, researching the type of business and/or organization funded by financial institutions was at the bottom of the list at 17 per cent (15 per cent some of the time; and only two per cent all of the time).

When it comes to what happens after they deposit their cash into a bank or credit union, nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they care what their financial institution does, but roughly the same percentage admit they don’t really know what happens to their money.

The survey also revealed some interesting differences when it comes to age and gender. Millennials are more likely to review a company’s social, environmental, labour and investment practices than baby boomers. While 42 per cent of men agree with the statement “I don’t care much about what my bank or credit union does, as long as I get a good interest rate,” just 29 per cent of women agreed.


“We encourage everyone to consider the choices they make in their daily lives. This survey shows a lot of people make an effort to recycle, compost and research the ethics of companies they purchase products from, but may not be thinking about what happens to their money when they make a deposit. At Vancity, our focus is on working with local people and organizations that are helping to build healthy communities.” William Azaroff, Vancity executive lead member experience & community engagement

Additional information:

Insights West survey highlights and tables (right click on tables and save link as)

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 523,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. With $25.6 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Brent Shearer | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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