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Banking Execs Keen on Building Greener Branches

May 19, 2008 - Three out of four banks are planning to build new green branches or undertake major eco-renovations of existing locations within the next two years, according to new survey from IBT Enterprises, a financial services consultancy. Nearly seven in ten banking executives polled say lowering operating costs has been a key motivating factor for green initiatives. Top strategies include energy-efficient lighting (81%), recycling programs (74%), ride-sharing or public transportation for employees (62%), and green cleaning (46%).

"We are now seeing a real interest in eco-friendly building within the financial services sector," says Mylle Mangum, CEO of IBT Enterprises, which conducted the survey. "We ve reached a point where building green does not always come with a cost-prohibitive price tag, and being green can still give a financial institution the features they desire."

The emphasis on green extends to financial services as well, according to the survey. Nine in ten survey respondents report having paper avoidance programs like electronic billing, statements, and online applications in place for their customers. Nineteen percent offer eco-friendly car loans, 17% offer eco-friendly home financing, and 8% have launched credit cards that support green projects based on spending.

"While consumer adoption of eco-friendly financial services has not been through the roof, we do see evidence that although a financial institution might build green and be green, it may not appear to be green if it does not effectively offer green services to its clientele," says Mangum. "The recent increase in environmentally friendly services is just starting to emerge and financial services organizations are realizing there is a market for them."

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