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Determinants of quality sustainability reporting practices in the financial services sector: evidence from G7 countries

Oluwadebi, JO


JO Oluwadebi



The financial services sector has been seen as an alien to sustainability reporting due to
the nature of the services the sector provides. However, in recent years, there are
increasing pressure on the financial services sector to include environmental and social
disclosures in their reporting, as sustainability report becomes an effective tool to
evaluate and communicate economic, environmental, and social performance to
stakeholders and to gain corporate social legitimacy and permanency in the market.
Some scholars and professionals argue that despite the importance of sustainability
reporting, the emphasis is not placed on quality but on quantity, hence, several
sustainability reports have failed to meet the needs of stakeholders. This research
focuses on identifying the corporate attributes that drive quality sustainability reporting
practices in the financial services sector. The attributes are financial leverage, board
composition, audit committee, ownership structure, firm age, corporate visibility, and
listing status. While profitability and firm size are used as control variables.
The research hypotheses are developed and tested using a random effects robust
regression model with recourse to some notable theories as the basis for the theoretical
framework. These include legitimacy, institutional, stakeholder, and agency theories.
The study employs a quantitative approach and data were manually collected from
annual and standalone reports by using the content analysis technique to develop a
quality sustainability reporting index. The sample is drawn from the financial services
companies of group 7 countries (G7) listed in the database of Global Reporting
Initiative (GRI) sustainability disclosure from 2014 to 2018 with 81 firms and 220
observations. Stata statistical software is used to execute the regression and to analyse
the data collected.
The empirical findings have practical and theoretical implications for significant
stakeholders in improving the determinants of quality sustainability reporting practices.
Financial leverage, audit committee, and listing status are positively associated with
quality sustainability reporting practices as diverse regulators and stakeholders demand
more disclosures of information. Also, the study underscores the use of the industryspecific framework to appraise quality sustainability reporting, which stands to be an
advantage over the general framework. This should be a drive for the reporting
framework providers and the regulating authorities. The key policy recommendation is
to ensure that the reporting practice becomes mandatory among the public listed


Oluwadebi, J. Determinants of quality sustainability reporting practices in the financial services sector: evidence from G7 countries. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 2, 2023
Award Date Aug 12, 2022


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