Interest in ethical finance appears to be growing, after 44% of the British public said they would like to find out about the ethical credentials of the next financial product or service that they buy.
The research, published by EIRIS, also revealed that three quarters of those displaying an interest in the ethics behind financial products or services said they were likely to take this into consideration when next buying one.
Topping the list of ethical concerns that respondents felt banks and financial institutions should prioritise in carrying out their lending and investing activities were protecting human rights, tackling climate change, protecting the environment and investing in fair trade.
However, levels of awareness, trust and confidence surrounding ethical finance were found to be low.
Almost two thirds (62%) of those surveyed could not name or describe in detail any ethical financial products or services.
Even amongst those who declared an interest in ethical finance, almost half (48%) could not name or describe in detail any ethical financial products or services.
Encouragingly, respondents did not doubt the ability of ethical products to perform against their peers.
Only 15% said that ethical products and services were less likely to perform as well as similar standard products.
"Our survey provides firm evidence of growing interest in ethical finance, suggesting that the message that it is possible to both make money and make a difference when investing ethically is starting to get through to consumers," said Mark Robertson, Communications and Development Manager at EIRIS.
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