The Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC), Global Ethical Finance Initiative and Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) conducted a pioneering global survey that gauges the understanding and awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) amongst retail consumers of Islamic finance products.

Report 1 covers customer expectations relating to financial products, while Report 2 covers understanding of the SDGs.

An output of the UK Government and Islamic Development Bank-backed Global Islamic Finance & UN SDGs Taskforce, the unique survey was produced by Sapio Research and took the novel approach to distribute the same set of questions to retail banking customers across the globe via CIMB Group (Malaysia), Gatehouse Bank (UK), Habib Bank Limited (Pakistan), Islamic Bank Australia (Australia) and Jaiz Bank (Nigeria).

The Key Findings

  • 90% (9 in 10) say it is important their bank provides products that are aligned to the UN SDGs
  • 96% (19 in 20) say that it’s important that the finance products they purchase fit with the values and ethics of their life
  • 71% (7 in 10) say the alignment of financial products with sustainability would encourage them to use their bank’s products more
  • 87% (8 in 9) would be willing to pay more for financial products aligned to the UN SDGs

The Opportunity

Data from the survey provides an evidential, consumer-led basis for change in institutions providing Islamic finance.

This inherent link to the goals of the sharia together with evidence that there is significant demand, and that the costs of achieving sustainability are understood by consumers, there is a great opportunity for Islamic financial institutions to lead from the front in pushing the sustainability agenda in their target markets.

The Key Findings

  • 75% (3 in 4) say they are aware of the SDGs
  • 29% (3 in 10) could name the “Quality Education” Goal, the most well-known of the Goals
  • 79% (8 in 10) thought the UN focuses on environment and climate change
  • 53% of Global South respondents felt SDGs linked to environment and climate change were important to them

The Opportunity

The report shows that there is understanding of the Goals among banking consumers from the Global North and Global South.

Within the SDGs, there are differences on which Goals are viewed as the most important, with consumers in the Global North more focused on environment, and those in the Global South focused on poverty reduction.While this shows disagreement, it also demonstrates the value of the SDGs as a framework to unify the different priorities of people around the world.

Our take on the numbers

Banking Customer Focus on UN SDGs

Investing in SDG-Aligned Products