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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Two-thirds of UK investors never offered ethical opportunities

The majority of UK investors want to see a fairer and more sustainable society, yet two-thirds have never been offered ethical funds.

Investors want ethical funds ©iStock
Investors want ethical funds ©iStock

That is according to new research published by Triodos Bank, which shows that 54% would not even know where to go to find out about them.

This is despite the fact that 64% of investors would like to support companies that make a positive contribution to society and the environment.

“The fact that two-thirds of investors have never been offered sustainable and responsible investment opportunities suggests a worrying disconnect,” 3D Investing director, John Fleetwood said.

“The positive investment market could grow significantly if financial advisers were more familiar with the range of sustainable investment funds on offer.”

This research was released to coincide with the start of Good Money Week – the national campaign to raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance.

It shows that most investors believe it is businesses rather than the government that have the power to solve many of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

Nearly three-quarters say companies can create positive social and environmental change, while 50% believe the state seems powerless to change society for the better.

“UK investors increasingly recognise the power of money to be a powerful tool for change,” Triodos Bank UK managing director, Bevis Watts, said.

“They know they can exert a positive influence on our wider society by simply channelling their investments into things that benefit not only themselves but also the world around them.”

The socially responsible investment retail market is now worth over £16bn in the UK, up from £6bn in 2010, with ethical funds shown to outperform mainstream investments.

However, the research also reveals that 56% of investors don’t know which companies or industries included in their investment fund or pension damage society and the environment.

“We encourage all investors to ask where their money goes and make a conscious decision to invest in companies that are good for people and planet – as well as providing a financial return,” Watts concluded.

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