Climate fears ‘could prompt more investors to move money to ethical funds’

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.

Nearly half (45%) 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%) would be prompted to move their money to “impact investments” – which have a positive effect on society and the environment.

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

More than half (53%) of those surveyed believe choosing carefully where you invest your money is one of the best ways to help the planet, rising to 76% among investors aged 18 to 24.

Three-quarters (75%) 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.

More than half (55%) of investors still said that they had not heard of impact funds, although this is down from 67% in 2018.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) had never been offered impact or sustainable investment opportunities, down from 73% last year.

Two-thirds (66%) of investors would like their investments to support companies that contribute to making a more positive society and environment, up from 55% 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.”

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