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Consumer appetite for good business behaviour doubles in four years

A new survey by YouGov shows that the proportion of people who strongly agree that they prefer to deal with businesses that have a record of good conduct has doubled compared to four years ago.

This year 40% of people strongly agreed that they prefer to deal with businesses that have a strong reputation for good conduct, up from 20% in January 2017.

Relatedly, 36% now strongly agree that businesses should have a positive impact on the communities in which they operate, up from 29% in 2017.

The same survey reveals that building societies are considered by their customers as playing an important role in their communities, with 72% of their customers agreeing to some extent. This compares to 51% of customers who would say the same about their bank. (1)

The research highlights how businesses will have to change as the economy emerges from the Covid pandemic, as many business leaders are starting to acknowledge. (2)

The change in consumer attitudes to businesses is likely to reflect the shifts that people expect to take place as the economy recovers and rebuilds after the pandemic. Nationwide Building Society recently announced that it is leading a cross-sector group to explore the future of home, work, community and financial well-being, and how these affect consumers. (3)

The difference in results between banks and building societies demonstrates the value of enabling different approaches to business as we come to rebuild in future years. A report, Rebuilding Business for Society, which the BSA published in collaboration with various partners last year, recommended reforms to make the business environment more conducive to a wider range of organisation types, and in doing so, more inclusive of different groups within society.


  1. Results are calculated by the BSA and excludes those who said ‘don’t know.’ Based on 400 building society customers and 1,300 customers of other financial service providers.
  4. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2059 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8 - 11 January 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Posted by Andrew Gall on 28 January 2021