Climate fears shifting investment to ethical funds

| 21st October 2019
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A total of 45 percent of investors say they would move their money to an ethical fund.

Many investors are no longer waiting for governments to take the lead in our transition to a fairer, greener society.

Climate concerns could prompt more investors to move their money to ethical funds which support the positive changes they want to see, a survey suggests.

A total of 45 percent of investors say they would move their money to an ethical fund as a result of news about the environment, Triodos Bank found.

Among those aged 18 to 24, more than three-quarters (78 percent) would be prompted to move their money to "impact investments" - which have a positive effect on society and the environment.

Investing

On average, investors would put £3,744 in an impact investment fund, an increase of £1,000 compared with 2018.

More than half of those surveyed believe choosing carefully where you invest your money is one of the best ways to help the planet, rising to 76 percent among investors aged 18 to 24.

Three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that financial providers need to be more transparent about where people's money goes. The ethical bank's survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK was carried out in early October.

Concerns about the climate have been highlighted by groups such as Extinction Rebellion, various celebrities such as Sir Mark Rylance, Dame Emma Thompson and Benedict Cumberbatch, student protesters and teenage activist Greta Thunberg.

Triodos Bank's latest annual impact investing survey found that awareness of impact investing is higher than in any year since the survey was started in 2016.

Positive

More than half of investors still said that they had not heard of impact funds, although this is down from 67 percent in 2018. Nearly two-thirds had never been offered impact or sustainable investment opportunities, down from 73 percent last year.

Two-thirds of investors would like their investments to support companies that contribute to making a more positive society and environment, up from 55 percent last year.

Gareth Griffiths, head of retail banking, Triodos Bank UK, said: "Many investors are no longer waiting for governments to take the lead in our transition to a fairer, greener society - they are using their own money to back the change they want to see.

"We are seeing a shift from those simply screening out negative investments to instead looking for direct positive impacts."

This Author

Vicky Shaw is the the personal finance correspondent for PA.  

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