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Topic of the month April 2012: Transparency Survey 2012

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Transparency Survey 2012 - Responsible Investments & Philanthropy Services

Overuse of resources, environmental pollution, climate change, increasing shortages of food and energy demand constitute a threat to the well-being of humanity. As a consequence, the way we're doing business and the way we invest will change fundamentally in order to find a sustainable solution.

The financial market crisis has shown that it is no longer enough to simply consider the three dimensions risk, return and liquidity. New aspects have to find their way into the classical investment world. A concept, which was integrated into the capital markets during the last years is the concept of socially responsible or sustainable and responsible investments (SRI). In the meantime, all around the globe the number and diversity of market participants offering a wide range of products and services are steadily growing in line with this. Alongside with this growth and interest, SRI and Philanthropy are evolving and are getting more and more complex. A new challenge is emerging: finding one's way around.

For this purpose the "Transparency Survey 2012" conducted by CSSP aims to give an overview on how financial institutions are using their websites as an effective instrument to deal with these new topics and challenges.

This year’s transparency study of CSSP Research carries out a qualitative and quantitative research of companies websites while focusing exclusively on the five largest banks from the United States of America and Europe (ranked by total assets per 12/31/2010) as well as ten selected banks from the German-speaking area (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein):

  • USA: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Company.
  • EU:Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Selected: Commerzbank (DE), Credit Suisse (CH), Erste Group (AT), Julius Baer (CH), Kaiser Partner (LI), LGT (LI), RZB (AT), Bank Sarasin (CH), UBS (CH), Vontobel (CH).


The transparency survey  is divided into three modules (A-C). Module A and B provide the most important findings on an aggregated as well as disaggregated level based on a corresponding, standardized questionnaire (see Executive Summary for further details). Module C provides a summary of the volume, number and thematic focus of the in-house mutual SRI-funds offered by the financial institutions in the survey.

Transparency Leaders: The evaluation of the questionnaire has shown that two financial institutions from the group EU with 19 respectively 15.5 points out of 24 points as well as one institute from the group Selected (17 points) rank among the top of this year's transparency study. The best US institute ranks on the 5th rank.



Banner, Download Executive Summary



Short Version / Executive Summary:
The short version is available for download HERE (2.2 MB), completely free of charge. It provides you with the methodology as well as the Executive Summary of this survey.

Long version:

If you are interested in obtaining the complete "Transparency Survey 2012 - Responsible Investments & Philanthropy Services", please contact us; for further information see conditions below.

The long version consists of 56 pages and includes:

    • descriptions of survey findings on an aggregated as well as disaggregated level
    • detailed individual transparency rating fact sheet for each financial institution
    • compendium of volume, numbers and thematic focus of in-house mutual funds offered
    • breakdown of findings and the impact on customers perception
    • further information and how to improve in this regard

Conditions / Purchase of Transparency Survey:
The complete "Transparency Survey 2012 - Responsible Investments & Philanthropy Services" is available to purchase for a fee of EUR 650.- (plus VAT, 8%). Distribution is either electronically or printed upon request.

Payment options are payment on open account or for your convenience we do also accept the major credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) via secure transaction.

creditcards offered (Amex, MC, Visa)

Contact us to get long version




Executive Summary of Survey:

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