Survey from Ecclesiastical shows brokers believe doing good in the community could change public perception

More than three quarters of brokers (76%) believe it is important for their business to contribute positively to society.

This is according to new research from Ecclesiastical, which also revealed that brokers’ primary motives for engaging in activities that benefit society are making a difference (78%), improving the reputation of their business (76%) and giving something back to customers (71%).

Ecclesiastical stated that the purpose of the survey of 250 brokers was to understand better the contribution brokers are making to society.

While the public perception of financial services firms is generally poor, two thirds of brokers (66%) believe that contributing positively to society is an important factor in helping change perceptions.

John Blundell, managing director of UKGI at Ecclesiastical, said: “It’s clear that brokers recognise the importance of contributing positively to society, primarily because they want to give something back, but also because they want to improve the reputation of their business.

“Their contribution to society also has significant implications for their commercial success, because today’s consumers and employees expect greater social responsibility from businesses, led by a millennial generation dubbed the most socially responsible ever.”

Charity

By far the most popular activity is supporting a charity, with over three quarters of brokers (78%) contributing in this way. The most common way of supporting a charity is through a company fundraising scheme (53%), followed by providing free advice for charities (42%), matched funding for employees (41%) and employee volunteering (41%).

Charities are selected predominantly because they are local (30%) or because causes are close to the heart of an employee (29%).

Blundell said: “Engaging in activity that benefits the wider community is something that businesses of all sizes can do and benefit from.

“We know, from our own experience as the only financial services group with a charitable purpose, that the positive impact we’re making to communities motivates and attracts staff and resonates with our brokers and customers.

“We want to demonstrate that it’s possible to be commercially successful while giving something back to society.”

Ecclesiastical’s research also revealed that over half of brokers (54%) would like their business to do more to contribute positively to society. 

And Blundell added: “Our research shows that brokers are already engaged in a range of positive activities, but at the same time they told us that they would welcome tools and support to help them do more.

“For many, gaining a better insight into customers’ expectations was important in helping them to focus efforts, while a number of brokers told us they needed guidance on engaging with charities and community groups.”

Ecclesiastical, the fourth largest corporate giver in the UK, carried out the research to coincide with the launch of its inaugural Impact Report, which reveals the positive impact of its charitable and community work.