2008 IBT Market Pulse Survey Finds Financial Services Executives Keen on Building, Being and Offering Green Services

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of financial institution executives say they plan to build new or undergo a major remodel of an existing branch in the next 12-24 months and the vast majority (88 percent) say green initiatives are important to their financial institutes, according to 2008 IBT Market Pulse Survey: A Different Shade of Green released today.

In fact, the study found that the majority (58 percent) of financial institutions are planning new building projects, and of that group more than three-quarters (75 percent) are considering the use of green building materials and practices.

Executives planning new building projects say energy efficiency considerations are very important (76 percent) to their institutions, followed closely by indoor air quality (72 percent) and indoor work place (61 percent). To download the free full report, visit http://www.ibtenterprises.com/ideastudio.asp.

“Building new financial services facilities is a constant in the industry, and this study bears that out; however, we are now seeing a real interest in eco-friendly building within the sector,” said Mylle Mangum, CEO of IBT Enterprises, the survey’s sponsor. “Executives are generally interested in incorporating green elements into projects large and small. 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.”

When asked which features financial institutions most want to incorporate in new and existing branches, executives tended to focus on ways they can further deliver services to their clientele. The majority of the group said adding ATMs (69 percent), educational or community-oriented marketing (59 percent), investment services (56 percent) and technology/Internet kiosks (56 percent) were of most interest to them.

Being Green on a Daily Basis

Seven in ten executives polled said “being green” is important to their financial institution because “we are all stewards of the earth – we are doing what is right” and nearly as many (68 percent) say they are green because they “realize benefits from the lower operation costs.”

That said, today’s financial institutions are not just interested in the color of money; many of their work environments are in fact very green, according to executives surveyed. Almost all (93 percent) financial services executives say they work in buildings that use fluorescent lighting and/or skylights, 47 percent use high-efficiency plumbing, 43 percent eco-friendly heating and air conditioning and 43 percent energy-efficient windows.

Some of the green initiatives financial services executives report their facilities participate in include:

Using energy-efficient lighting, including compact fluorescent lights (81 percent),

Having an active recycling initiative (74 percent),

Encouraging ride-sharing or public transportation for employees (62 percent), and

Using environmentally friendly cleaning products (46 percent).

“Like many organizations banks and credit unions truly understand the benefits associated with going green,” said Tom Tedrow, vice president of design and construction services for IBT. “We have found that green efforts tend to start small but grow into important initiatives.”

“For example, while only 44 percent of financial services executives knew of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, 55 percent of those that did said they will be seeking LEED certification for future building or remodeling projects,” continued Tedrow, who is accredited for LEED New Construction and Major Renovations.

Today nearly three-in-ten (29 percent) of those surveyed work in a location that was expressly built with energy efficiency in mind.

Offering Green Services

The majority (86 percent) of financial services executives surveyed say being green is important to their clientele. The figures do show that while some environmentally-friendly services are in place, there is room for improvement both in breadth of offerings and overall use of such services.

For example, nearly all (90 percent) respondents report having paper avoidance programs like electronic billing, statements and online applications in place for their customers. However, 58 percent of executives reported less than a quarter of their customers utilize such programs, and only 16 percent said the majority of their customers take part in the programs.

Some institutions are offering environmental-friendly services in addition to paper avoidance programs. Nineteen percent have eco-friendly car loans, 17 percent offer eco-friendly home financing, and eight percent have “green” credit cards where financial institutions make contributions to green initiatives based on spending. Across the board, consumer usage is very modest where these services are offered.

“While the uptake 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,” said 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. How large of a market it is will be seen in the coming years.”

This and other research studies completed by IBT Enterprises, including the 2006 IBT Market Pulse Survey, can be downloaded for free by visiting http://www.ibtenterprises.com/ideastudio.asp.

About IBT Enterprises’ 2008 IBT Market Pulse Survey

Conducted in April 2008, the 2008 IBT Market Pulse Survey is based on an online survey among a nationwide sample of executives with financial institutions. Of the 124 participants, 21 percent are president/CEO/chairman, 38 percent vice president and 34 percent senior management. Ninety one percent are employed in a bank or credit union. Eighty-six percent work in institutions with assets of $101 million or greater; 37 percent of respondents work for institutions with assets greater than $1 billion. Sixty-four percent of respondents were male and 36 percent were female. The research was conducted by Atlanta-based Arketi Group.

For more information about IBT Enterprises and its portfolio of design, build and consulting capabilities, visit www.ibtenterprises.com.

About IBT Enterprises

IBT Enterprises, an IBT Holdings company, is a leading source of forward-thinking designs and ideas in the arena of financial services and specialty retail. Over its 23-year history, the company has consulted to more than 190 retail and 550 financial services clients on the development of thousands of workspaces. IBT offers a comprehensive range of integrated services, including retail distribution strategy, market research, space planning, design and construction, performance training and coaching. IBT is a certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

About IBT Holdings, LLC

IBT Holdings is the premier provider of design, build and consulting services for financial services and specialty retail. Comprised of IBT Enterprises, Design Build Concepts and International Banking Technologies, IBT Holdings is equipped to create facilities and environments that engage consumers and drive positive and memorable retail and customer experiences. With a combined portfolio of more than 3,700 design and construction projects, and LEED-accredited architects and designers, the IBT Holdings companies can develop a space that supports your practical and functional needs while offering a distinctive brand experience. For more information about IBT Holdings, LLC, visit www.ibtenterprises.com.

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