Press Release

French financial institutions prioritize ESG values yet most cautious about AI, says Finastra global survey

  • Green lending seen as a continued source of growth and revenue generation for 85% of financial institutions 
  • 28% improved or deployed AI in the last 12 months, down from 34% in 2022

Paris, France – November 27, 2023 – Finastra’s latest research reveals that despite economic constraints, financial institutions in France continue to invest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and broader technology initiatives.

The ‘Financial Services: State of the Nation Survey 2023’ finds that more than 8 in 10 (84%) French financial institutions believe it is important for financial services to support ESG initiatives and actively seek to improve in this space, higher than Germany (77%) and the UK (81%). Additionally, green lending continues to be viewed as an opportunity for growth and revenue generation by 85% of respondents, up from 74% in 2022 and one of the highest globally.

According to the survey, Banking as a Service (BaaS) and embedded finance are increasing in priority for French firms. In the last 12 months, nearly half (48%) of leaders state they have improved or deployed the technology, up significantly from 28% last year and higher than Germany (35%) and the UK (34%). 35% have improved or deployed embedded finance in this timeframe, up from 25% last year and higher than the UK (28%), yet lower than Germany (40%).

When it comes to AI, France falls behind other regions. 28% of institutions say they have improved or deployed an AI solution in the last 12 months, down from 34% last year and the lowest region this year. The next 12 months are looking more positive, with nearly a third (31%) of firms planning to improve or deploy an AI solution, up from 28% in 2022 yet lower than Germany (38%) and the UK (36%). French respondents are the most cautious globally about generative AI (Gen AI), with 74% interested in the technology, the lowest number globally although still relatively high, yet only 16% have implemented Gen AI, joint lowest with Singapore. The top use cases cited are to improve risk management, decision making and predictive analytics, and to collect, process and analyze data for ESG, such as making investment or lending decisions.

The research, conducted from August to September 2023, canvassed the opinions of 956 professionals at financial institutions and banks across France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK, US and Vietnam.

Other insights include:

  • French firms feel positive despite economic pinch: 78% of respondents say their technology investments have been constrained by economic conditions, the same as the global average and slightly higher than in 2022 (75%). However, positive sentiment prevails, as 72% hope their investments will return in full by the end of H1 2024, compared with the 69% global average.
  • Investment in growth and liquidity remains strong: Nearly 8 in 10 (77%) leaders say their organization has increased or plans to increase investment in growth after the recent/current economic downturn, and the same number say their organization has increased or plans to increase investment in liquidity management because of this environment.
  • Decentralized finance is a popular technology: One third (33%) of respondents say their organization has deployed or improved Decentralized Finance (DeFi) in the last 12 months, up from 24% in 2022 and higher than Germany (31%) and the UK (21%). The same number of respondents say this is true in next 12 months, compared with Germany (24%) and the UK (23%).
  • Leaders are excited about the speed of change: When asked whether they were excited about the pace of technological and cultural change in financial services personally, for their financial institution and for the wider industry, 77%, 70% and 75% respectively agree. This shows that leaders largely remain positive about the future, although sentiment is lower compared to Germany, where these figures are 81%, 72% and 78% respectively.

“Despite the challenging economic climate, it’s clear from our research that investment in innovation, particularly BaaS and embedded finance, remain key priorities,” said Simon Paris, Chief Executive Officer at Finastra. “We share the strong commitment to ESG initiatives with institutions in France who continue to innovate in this space, as well as the positive sentiment about the future of financial services and the use of technology to help deliver on the opportunities ahead.”

Access the full report and findings here.

Survey Methodology

  • A total of 956 professionals (at managerial level) in financial institutions and banks across the US, UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the UAE were surveyed. These financial institutions represent a gross total of around USD$33 billion in turnover over the last 12 months, employ approximately 2.4 million staff and have approximately 240 million client / customer / member relationships.
  • As a result of rounding up percentage results, the answers to some questions might not always add up exactly to 100%. Respondents were also able to select more than one answer for some questions.
  • Comparative analysis was made from results of a similar survey run by Finastra in August 2022 which was also conducted online amongst financial institutions and banks across the same markets, except for Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.
  • The research was conducted by Savanta via an online panel (August to September 2023).


For further information, please contact:

Sofia Romano
Head of PR, EMEA at Finastra
T +44 (0)7552865009

About Finastra

Finastra is a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, and launched the leading open platform for innovation,, in 2017. It serves institutions of all sizes, providing award-winning software solutions and services across Lending, Payments, Treasury & Capital Markets and Universal Banking (Retail, Digital and Commercial Banking) for banks to support direct banking relationships and grow through indirect channels, such as embedded finance and Banking as a Service. Its pioneering approach and commitment to open finance and collaboration is why it is trusted by over 8,000 institutions, including 45 of the world’s top 50 banks. For more information, visit