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Customers More Loyal To Green Banks

687,000 tons of paper could be saved each year if every U.S. household stopped receiving paper bills and statements, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research report. That’s enough to circle the Earth 239 times.

Although most consumers expressed an interest in adopting green banking behaviors, three out of four consumers surveyed say they still receive paper statements.

Customers are more loyal to financial institutions that do so. By a 6-to-1 margin (see chart above), consumers said they are likely to do business with financial institutions they perceive to be green (48% vs. 8% of consumers who would be unlikely to do so).

Banks must offer tangible, compelling ‘green’ options and make them as simple as screwing in a CFL bulb, a Javelin analyst says.

Findings in the green banking report:

* Three out of four consumers receive paper statements.
* 34% of consumers said they switched to electronic statements to reduce their impact on the environment.
* 43% of consumers said they are more likely to do business with companies they perceive to be green.
* One out of five consumers (22%) said green initiatives cement the bond they have with their bank.
* 60% of “green bankers,” or consumers who say environmental impact is “extremely important” in purchasing and banking decisions, are women.
* 64% of “skeptics,” or consumers who say they are “very less likely” to be more loyal to their bank because of its environmental activities, are men.

By 2011, Forrester expects online banking adoption to grow by 55%, to roughly 72 million households. In 2011, 76 percent of online households will bank online.

Washington Mutual recently donated $1M The National Arbor Day Foundation for the one million customers it switched to paperless statements.

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