Sustainable business model archetypes for the banking industry

Angus W. H. Yip, Nancy Bocken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable business model innovation is increasingly viewed as a lever for systems change for sustainability across businesses and industries. Banks hold a unique intermediary role in sustainable development, but also have a difficult position after the 2008 financial crisis. This paper aims to explore business models for sustainability in the service industry, particularly banking. It explores the receptiveness of customers towards sustainable business models pursued by banks. The retail banking industry in Hong Kong is the focus of this work. First, a practice review and semi-structured interviews are used to develop and validate a set of sustainable business model archetypes for the banking industry. Second, surveys are conducted to test customer receptiveness for the archetypes. Eight sustainable business model archetypes for banking are developed and validated. “Substitute with digital processes” “adopt a stewardship role” and “encourage sufficiency” are most welcomed by customers. Some archetypes seem at direct odds with current business practice, such as “encourage sufficiency”. This study gives an insight to how to “do good and do well” in the banking industry. Further research on the attributes of these archetypes can be conducted to gain a deeper understanding why customers prefer banks to use these archetypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-169
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Banks
  • Business model for sustainability
  • Business model innovation
  • Service industry
  • Sustainable business
  • Sustainable finance


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