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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 04/06/2021

A study has shown that UK investors are taking more interest in ethically minded investment funds, but demand is yet to become mainstream. Investors are calling for more transparency from investment providers and further action from businesses and Government to drive more positive change for ethical investments.

The study commissioned by Butterfield Mortgages Limited spoke to 735 UK investors with more than £20,000 in their portfolio excluding primary property, savings, pensions or SIPPs.
Three out of five investors want more transparency from investment providers when choosing different investments and a similar number also believe investors are being relied on to back environmental, societal, corporate governance (ESG) investments rather than business and Government acting to drive positive change.
The study also found that just under a quarter of UK investors have already invested in ESG funds. with a quarter of respondents also planning to make an ESG investment within the next four years. This increased to nearly half for those aged between 18 to 24. Just under 30% stated they will now carefully consider the environmental or societal impact of the businesses or assets the invest in. The same number again would accept lower returns for funds with positive ESG credentials.

Over half anticipate the ESG market will grow quickly in the next five years.
The findings from this supports a growing interest and demand for ethically minded financial products, but these are yet to become mainstream. Investing ethically can mean different things to different investors, for example some funds may exclude certain types of stocks from their fund, such as tobacco or gambling. While other funds focus specifically on achieving environmental benefits or improvements for wider society.

Finding the best ethical funds

Every year Moneyfacts reviews ethical funds with a Star Rating. This is an independent and impartial review looking at fees and charges of the fund, plus how the funds support ESG and avoids investments that are negative to the environment and wider society.

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