Monday, 09 October 2017 12:42

Financial advisers failing customers on ethical investment

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A majority of investors want their money to do good as well as produce a positive return but over 70% don’t know how much of their money is invested ethically, according to a survey for Good Money Week which gets under way this week.

Only 39% of UK investors are only concerned about whether their investments make money and 47% want to both make money and make a “positive difference” to the world, says the report.

The survey of over 2,000 consumers found ‘high demand’ for ethical and sustainable investment and 57% of the public with a pension believe investment managers have a responsibility to ensure holdings are managed in a way that is positive for society and the environment.

The survey found, however, that savers feel “disempowered” by the industry and 76% of GB public don’t know how much of their pension is invested ethically. Some 30% believe they have “no say” in how their assets are invested.

One in 4 with a workplace pension would challenge their employer if they disagreed with how their workplace pension was invested. Some 57% of investors under 24 want to see fossil fuel free fund options from financial advisers, but only 34% of over 45s do.

Demand for fossil fuel free funds is rising - 40% want a fossil fuel free option, up from 35% last year and 32% in 2015.

Financial Advisers have been warned of a ‘savers revolt’ for failing to provide the information customers want on the environmental and social impact of their investments.

The results come despite a boom in responsible investment with the UK ethical and environmental funds market valued at about £1.5 trillion last year.

Simon Howard, chief executive of UKSIF (UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association), the body co-ordinating Good Money Week, said: “This research shows that people want their money run responsibly. There is a real opportunity for forward looking advisers to respond to this evolving market demand and to offer a service which is aligned with what people want.”

Supporters of the week include Standard Life Investments, Liontrust and M&G.

• The 25-34 age group is much more likely to invest ethically than older generations, with over a third (36%) saying social impact investing is the best way of using money for good compared to just 5% of over 45s, according to a survey of 1,500 savers by Rathbone Greenbank Investments.

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